Hi there, I belong to Serbia & Montenegro clan of the family, same as all of you with last name Saban.Saban in Muslim World means "moon" and also "8th month of the Year (August). In Serbian slang, it means "geek". This is because of the Muslim Gypsy Folk Singer Saban Saulic, who is a perfect geek with his golden teeth (this is a status-symbol for Gypsies).
I have a family tree that goes back to the year of 1437. This is the year that our ancestor Ivan Borojevic was born. Other than this, everything else in Ivan Dragoslavic's story is correct. Small correction: Ljubotinj (12km from Cetinje) is a district (nahija), and actual village is called Muzevici. Sabans live in the "Borough of Sabans" (zaseok Sabana), or should I say - used to live. I have a map of Montenegro from 17th century and our Borough is on it! This only demonstrates that at some point in history, our brotherhood was huge and influential. The area is known for tall, smart, generous, sensitive, honest, hardworking and brave people. Our first neighbors are families: Prlja, Lubarda, Drecun, Dapcevic, Lopicic, Zugic. Unfortunately, the last resident of our "Borough" (Gorde Saban) died around 1980. I vaguely remember her. She was a worm, loving and caring old lady that drank vine instead of water and had a gun on a wall above her bedpost. I'll also remember that even though she was a very distant cousin, she gave both me and my brother $100 just because we are Saban. I kind of liked that gesture of solidarity among Sabans, and have made sure ever since, to always and unconditionally help any member of the brotherhood that might be in need.
About myself and my closest ancestors: I was born and raised in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. I graduated from University of Belgrade, Law School. Ilive in Toronto, Canada since 1992. My wife Dr. Jeka Saban (nee Uzelac) runs "Saban Dental Office". We have 3 kids: Tina, Dusan and Mina. My brother Marko Saban, came first to Saskatoon to do his PhD also now lives in Toronto. His wife Aleksandra Saban-Kolenc got Masters in mathematics from the same University. They have son Drasko and daughter Lisa. Our mom Mirjana Saban Ph.D. was a professor at University of Belgrade (Chemistry) and now lives in Toronto as well. Our late father Dusan Saban was an engineer and worked as V.P. of "Pupin/EI NIS". His only sister that is still alive is Dr. Nada Saban MD (married Pavlovic) who lives in Serbia. She has a son Dr. Milan Pavlovic who is a dentist in Belgrade. The other sister Ljubica (married Trifkovic), lawyer, worked for Ministry of Internal Affairs and was married to Drago who was a local MP. They had son Slobodan (engineer) married to Nada (high school teacher) and grand-son Milenko. My grand-father Marko Saban was a Captain in the Serbian Royal Army and moved a lot. That is how aunt Nada was born in Pec, my father in Kragujevac and aunt Ljubica in Belgrade. His wife Draga Saban (nee Macuzic) never worked even though she held a degree from Fine Arts Academy. She was extremely gorgeous - I guess I took upon her, or maybe not :)My grand-grand father Milo Saban did finish Military Academy in St.Petersburg (Russia) and was a veteran of Serbian-Turkish (Balkan) War. For his bravery, he got "Obilica Medalja" which was the highest honor (only couple dozen of such medals were given to bravest soldiers by the King). This was the only "Obilica Medalja" ever given to any Saban. I have it in my collection in Toronto along with few other medals for bravery that Milo got. Those medals are my most valuable posessions (even thought the monetary value might be low) and I keep them in a safety deposit box. My son will inherit them one day and they will be passed along my male hairs inmemory of our Great ancestor Milo Saban.
About Montenegro Sabans: There is about 10 Saban households left in Montenegro. The oldest one is Rade (his father was Djuro) Saban that lives in Podgorica. He knows everything about any living Saban from our brotherhood. He keeps our family tree updated and I was very surprised that even though I never notified any European Saban that I got a son, couple of months later on my vacation in Europe when I stopped by to say hello to him - he pulled out the family tree with my son's name on it!! I was truly shocked. Rade Saban has two sons Djuro and Zeljko and daughter Tanja. There is also Dalibor Saban who works as Inspector for MPP (Montenegro Provincial Police) in Podgorica. Great people each and every one of them that would do anything for Sabans. In Cetinje, there is Niko Saban.
About Serbian (Belgrade) Sabans: Only few families with Saban last name left. One of them is Novica Saban who was a director of prestigious "Hotel Moskva" in downtown Belgrade. 99% of Sabans converted back to old last name "Dragoslavic". This is due to the fact that Kosovo Muslims started terrorizing Serbs in Kosovo especially from 1970 onward. Many of them had first name Saban. Often you could read a story in a daily newspaper: "Saban Ali sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing a Serbian family in City of Kosovska Mitrovica" or "Saban Fahmiu sentenced to ... for terrorism" etc. All Sabans wished to distance themselves from those terrorists that were also belonging to different religion (people with last name Saban can only be orthodox Christians or Jews). And since members of another religion were terrorizing our people, it was kind of precarious to have the name that would make any association with terrorists. That's why, majority of brotherhood switched back to the old last name. I've chosen not to from respect to my ancestors, but I found it appropriate under the circumstances to emigrate and raise my family far away from home. The oldest Saban member in Serbia is Vuko Dragoslavic (nee Saban) who lives in Novi Beograd and maintains the family tree. He also organizes annual Saban Assembly - a gathering of Sabans who live in the region. He is probably the best source of information about Sabans.
About rest of the World Sabans: Turkish Empire ruled Serbia & Montenegro ever since we lost "Battle of Kosovo" in 1389. Since our ancestor killed a Muslim invader, brotherhood lived under the pressure of potential revenge for many Centuries. Many of Sabans couldn't stand the pressure and decided to leave and settle with their families far away from Turks. That is why, once powerful and huge tribe was slowly migrating and dispersing around the World. I know that many of original Montenegro Sabans found refuge in Serbia, Lika (Bosnia), Dalmatia, Croatia, throughout Mediteranian and wherever it was possible to reach by boat; Portugal, Spain, Israel, Great Britain and finally South and especially North America. North America was also destination of choice for Sabans after 1st and especially 2nd world war as they were escaping communists. Only in Toronto when I came back in 1992 there was dozen families of Sabans that were very active in the Church so nobody asked me if I was a Muslim. There are some close relatives, Sabans, that live in Illinois, New York State, Utah and Florida. Some of them are extremely successful. As for the religion, 70% of Sabans are Christian Orthodox, about 20% Jewish (this was a second religion of choice after running away from Muslims) and about 10% are Christian Catholics, Protestant or others (mostly in Europe). 0% is Muslim even though our last name is a common Muslim first name.
At the end, I would like to greet Saban brothers and sisters all over the World. I hope this clarify who you are. You have all the reasons to be proud of your glorious ancestors but it is also great responsibility for you to keep up the bond between Sabans - sacred.