|Portrayed by|| Zahra Ahmadi (2007–08) |
Rakhee Thakrar (2014–16)
|Introduced by|| Diederick Santer (2007) |
Dominic Treadwell-Collins (2014)
|First Appearance||17 July 2007|
|Last Appearance||5 February 2016|
|Other names||Shabnam Kazemi|
|Address|| 41 Albert Square (2007-08, 2014-15) |
Barnet, England (2016-)
|Date of Birth||26th January 1986|
|Occupation|| Minute Mart manager |
Shabnam Masood is opinionated – even bossy… but under the no-nonsense sass is a shy girl worried whether people like her and if she’s doomed to never get a man.
Shabnam is family-oriented. She has an idealised image of her own family – mum, dad and her three brothers. She wants them to be perfect, which they definitely are not. This impacts on her own ideals for the future – she wants to find the perfect man, have the perfect children. She sees herself as Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice – which is her favourite box set. She hasn’t bothered to read the book.
Shabnam likes to gossip. She loves knowing other people’s business and is bad at keeping a secret - which will often get her into trouble. But her loose lipped-ness isn’t based on maliciousness – more wanting people to like her. This keenness to be liked probably comes from being a middle child. Her elder brother Syed was spoilt and Shabnam was left to her own devices. This also gives her an independent streak.
Shabnam likes to be independent but contradictorily loves being part of her family and, with Zainab in Pakistan, feels she has a responsibility to whip them into shape. She’s quite nostalgic about how her family used to be before they ever moved to Walford and would like to get the money and status back.
When she was younger Shabnam considered herself a bit of a ‘rebel’. She shunned her parents’ traditions but in reality Shabnam wasn’t a rebel - she just didn’t know who she was. While in Pakistan, Shabs did a degree in pharmacy, funded by her grandparents, to give herself a career to focus on. She also got more into Islam – 'cos everyone else was – and now wears a designer hijab. It’s more of a fashion thing than a faith thing, but she does now have more interest in the Qu’ran and her culture.
When it comes to men, Shabs is a disaster area. She could’ve had a match made for her in Pakistan but she is romantic and wants to find her true love. However, by saying that, she can avoid dating and meeting men. Though she’s bossy and opinionated when it comes to her nearest and dearest, around strangers (particularly blokes) she’s shy and nervy. Shabnam sets herself an impossible list of qualities she looks for in a man, which means that she can self-sabotage virtually every potential suitor.
Shabnam has a big heart. She champions the underdog and always fights for a cause. She made many female pals in Pakistan and is a loyal, but indiscreet, friend.
After organising a memorial for her mother, Shabnam wasn’t happy to find that Masood had invited Carol, resulting in her expressing negative views about their relationship, and eventually splitting them up! Having left to stay with her aunt, Shabnam was soon called back by Fatboy to save the Masood family!
Hitting the ground running, Shabnam’s first task was to help with the family income and find a job. Unwilling to settle for anything short of a pharmacy, after learning about the possible market closure, she soon accepted a role at the Minute Mart.
Shabnam, the daughter of Masood and Zainab, appears initially as a university graduate, who is undecided what career path she wants to follow. She has aspirations to travel and makes plans to leave Walford but is forced to rethink when she discovers her parents are struggling financially. Shabnam's lack of direction, friendship with Dawn Swann and recreational activities anger Zainab, causing friction between mother and daughter. Zainab tries to set Shabnam up with Jalil Iqbal and invites him to stay with the family and work in their post office for a while. Shabnam is initially against this as she remembers Jalil as a "geek" from her childhood, though when she sees him, she is attracted to him. Zainab sets them up with a romantic meal, listening in on their conversation using a baby monitor. Shabnam discovers that Jalil has a girlfriend, though Zainab sees a picture of her and says she is ugly and that her make-up looks like it has been done by Edward Scissorhands. Shabnam later bumps into Jalil on a night out in R&R nightclub, where they flirt. Jalil and Shabnam later share a kiss, but during a conversation with the Masood family, he says that he thinks modern Muslim women like Shabnam provide "great entertainment" but are not marriage material. Zainab is offended by this and sends him away.
Shabnam and Zainab have an argument about Shabnam's behaviour after Zainab catches her poledancing in a club. Zainab is ashamed that Shabnam wants to embrace British culture more than her family's traditional Muslim culture. Zainab warns Shabnam about the dangers of going against her people's culture and society's rules, relaying an incident in Pakistan, where a girl was burnt as punishment by her family for secretly dating a boy her family felt was unsuitable. After hearing that story, Shabnam is unable to feel proud of her culture; however, Zainab has many positive things to say about the Muslim culture too. Shabnam feels confused; she does not know where she really belongs, so she leaves Walford to find her roots in Pakistan.
Shabnam returns to Walford after attending her grandmother's funeral. She immediately dislikes Carol Jackson, who is dating Masood and after an argument with her father, she is forced to leave. However, the following month, Tamwar's friend, Fatboy, calls Shabnam and informs her of Masood's downward spiral so she moves in with him and Tamwar. She gets a job working with Denise Fox, at the local Minute Mart.
Kush Kazemi begins to run a stall on Bridge Street Market and starts trying to impress Shabnam, but she is not interested as they are totally different people. Shabnam realises that Denise has been stealing alcohol from the Minute Mart and threatens to report her but does not when she sees her struggling with looking after Patrick Trueman, who has suffered a stroke. She later befriends Stacey Slater and ends up getting to know Kush better. On her 29th birthday, Shabnam discovers that she is being made redundant, and things get worse when Masood finds out she inherited his mother's money. Shabnam tells Kush that she did something wrong. They kiss and have sex. Shabnam thinks he gossiped about what happened and eventually tells Stacey that she had a baby named Roya which she left on her aunt's doorstep and was adopted. The father is Dean Wicks. Shabnam later realises she has feelings for Kush and when he notices it, he gets her to admit it, and admits he feels the same way. They start seeing each other in secret but when Stacey finds out, Kush tells her that they should tell Masood eventually. Although she is hesitant, they agree to tell him after her last shift at work. However, Masood finds out through gossip at Shabnam's surprise last-shift party and confronts her and Kush at home. He is upset that they lied to him but calms down once he learns how serious they are about each other. However, Shabnam takes things too far by lying that Kush has proposed to her and is horrified at her actions when Kush says it is happening too fast and Masood orders him to leave. At Donna's 30th birthday party, Kush admits that he is unable to commit as he is still mourning his wife. After he explains more at the Masood house before leaving, Shabnam thinks over what he just said and when she finds him, admits that she only pushed their relationship through lying because she loves him. They decide to resume their relationship and take things more slowly this time round, and tell a hesitant Masood of their plans, who slowly comes round to the idea. Shabnam is very disappointed when Kush refuses to commit and enlists her aunt Fatima Inzamam's help to find a husband, however Shabnam is dismissive of her suitor when he mentions children. Fatima tells Shabnam she knows about her child, although Fatima does not know who the father is. When Shabnam sees Dean, he is upset and she believes Stacey has told him he fathered her daughter. Shabnam falsely informs Dean that their daughter died but he soon guesses that she is lying. Kush returns from a holiday but when Shabnam is distracted by seeing Dean, Kush believes it is because she dislikes him and ends their relationship. In the aftermath, Kush saves Stacey from being confronted by Dean over Shabnam, and they kiss but agree not to take it any further, then Stacey informs Kush about Shabnam's baby, which shocks him and upsets Shabnam. After Kush asks her why she did not tell him, she decides to marry Asim but Kush interrupts and proposes to her. She accepts Kush's proposal. Dean's mother Shirley Carter finds out about Roya and tells Masood, who is furious with Shabnam for her actions. Fatima tells him where he can find Roya, who is now called Jade Green. Shabnam meets Kush's mother Carmel Kazemi and gets on well with her but is angry when Masood reveals her secret, although Carmel is understanding. Shabnam is dismayed when Dean exposes her lies at her own engagement party. She has a bitter argument with Masood and bans him from the wedding though they soon reconcile on Father's Day.
Shabnam is furious when a girl gang vandalise the community centre where she is helping with an Iftar charity drive. The gang violently attack Shabnam who is found lying injured by Jade. In hospital, Shabnam tells Stacey that she felt no connection to her daughter when she saw her. Following an examination, Shabnam is informed that she is five months pregnant. She worries that Kush will leave her and believes she will be a bad mother, especially after Shirley's boyfriend Buster Briggs requests her help in gaining custody of Jade. After Shirley tells her she will regret not knowing anything about her daughter, she tells Kush she is pregnant. Shabnam is unaware that Kush and Stacey have kissed twice. After she and Kush announce the pregnancy to their families, Shabnam decides to make a statement to the police on the girl gang, and tells Shirley she will support her and Buster in their attempts to gain custody of Jade. Following Kush's stag party, Shabnam confides in Masood her fears over not feeling the baby move. Eventually, Masood takes Shabnam to the hospital, where a doctor confirms the baby has died. Shabnam is shocked to find out she still has to give birth to her baby. Following an induction, Shabnam gives birth to her stillborn baby, a boy she and Kush name Zaair (which she states means "The visitor.") Shabnam holds, kisses and talks to Zaair before handing him to the midwife to be taken to the morgue. The following day, a grieving Shabnam decides to return to Pakistan. Kush tries to comfort her, but she says they have no future and they fight about it. In anger, Kush tells Shabnam to leave and never come back. However, the next day, Carmel and Masood persuade both of them to reconcile for Zaair's funeral. After taking down Zaair's cot to start afresh, Shabnam sees Jade visiting Dean, and she realises she wants Jade in her life. Although Kush protests over her suddenly making that decision so soon after Zaair's stillbirth, she goes to Jade's social worker anyway and tells her that she wants Jade back. On the episode that aired on the 6th November saw Kush and Shabnam marry.