Who Was Mehran Karimi Nasseri, the Iranian Exile Who Lived At French Airport For 18 Years?
Mehran Karimi Nasseri, whose story inspired the Hollywood film “The Terminal”, died at the French airport on Saturday where he lived for 18 years.
Mehran Karimi Nasseri, the Iranian refugee, who lived for around 18 years at France's Charles de Gaulle airport died on Saturday there. He died of a heart attack, CNN reported.
Nasseri lived at the airport between 1988 and 2006. He was stuck at the airport after he allegedly lost his travel documents when he was on his way to England. Steven Spielberg's 2004 film was inspired by Nasseri's story. CNN quoted the airport officials saying that Nasseri had "returned to live as a homeless person in the public area of the airport since mid-September, after a stay in a nursing home".
The Iranian refugee had become an iconic figure of the French airport, where the airport staff looked after him. Several thousand euros were found on him at the tie of his death, Le Parisien reported.
Here is all you need to know about Nasseri and how he ended up living at the airport for nearly two decades:
Who was Mehran Karimi Nasseri?
Nasseri was born in 1945 in Masjed Soleiman, in Iran's Khuzestan. His father was an Iranian doctor and his mother was a nurse of Scottish origin. He studied at the University of Bradford and was on his way to Europe in 1988 to locate his mother when he reportedly lost his papers. According to BBC, Nasseri lived for some years in Belgium after he was expelled from countries including the UK, the Netherlands and Germany since he did not have the required documents.
Nasseri would call himself "Sir Alfred" and became popular after the Hollywood film "The Terminal".
How did Nasseri end up at French airport?
After being expelled from several countries, Nasseri arrived in France and settled at the Charles de Gaulle airport's 2F terminal. "He spent several stays there, but always in the public area of the airport, he was always free to move around," airport officials told CNN.
Nasseri was given refugee status in 1999 but decided to stay in the airport only. Hollywood film "The Terminal" got him enough popularity and journalists would flock the airport terminal to interview him. Le Parisien wrote that Nasseri would give up to six interviews a day after the film. "He spent his days writing about his life in a notebook, studying, reading the American and English press as well as novels," Le Parisien reported.
He left the airport in 2006 after he fell sick and was taken to hospital for treatment. Nasseri did not return to the airport after that and lived in a hostel using the money he was able to earn after Steven Spielberg's film. Nasseri had started to live at the airport again since mid-September this year.
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