An Iranian man who spent 18 years living at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and whose story served as an inspiration for Steven Spielberg's movie "The Terminal" passed away on Saturday, according to officials.
Around noon, Mehran Karimi Nasseri passed away from a heart attack in Terminal 2F of the airport, according to a representative of the Paris airport authorities. The source stated that despite assistance from law enforcement and medical professionals, the individual was not able to be saved.
Nasseri lived in Terminal 1 of the airport from 1988 to 2006, first illegally since he did not possess residency documents and later by apparent choice.
Sleeping on a red plastic bench, chatting with the airport staff, taking showers, journaling, reading, magazines, and watching passengers pass by was his daily activity.
He was given the nickname of Lord Alfred by the staff, and he quickly gained attention among travelers.
To an Iranian father and a British mother, Nasseri was born in 1945 in Soleiman, a region of Iran that was then governed by the British. He left Iran in 1974 to attend college in England. He claimed that upon his return, he was deported without a passport and imprisoned for engaging in anti-Shah protests.
He applied for political asylum in a number of European countries. He received refugee credentials from the UNHCR in Belgium, but he claimed that his briefcase, which contained the refugee certificate, was taken at a Paris railway station.
He was later detained by French police, but they were unable to transfer him anyplace since he lacked identification. In August 1988, he found himself at Charles de Gaulle and stayed.
As a result of Europe’s stricter immigration restrictions and inept bureaucracy, he spent years in legal gray areas.
He spoke of his amazement and anxiety upon receiving his refugee papers as well as his hesitation to leave the airport. His refusal to sign them reportedly led him to remain there for several more years before being admitted to the hospital in 2006 and moving to Paris as a refugee.
Those who made friends with him in the airport claimed that the years spent residing in the roomless area had a negative impact on his mental health. In the 1990s, the airport doctor expressed concern for his physical and emotional well-being and labeled him as "fossilized here."
A fellow ticket salesperson compared him to a prisoner who couldn't "live on the outside" According to the airport employee, Nasseri had returned to residing at Charles de Gaulle in the weeks prior to his death.
The Tom Hanks-starring 2004 film "The Terminal," as well as the French film "Lost in Transit '' and the opera "Flight," were all partially based on Nasseri's bizarre story.
According to UNHCR, 9.3 million people were forcibly relocated throughout the world at the end of 2021 as a result of persecution, violence, conflict, human rights violations, or other major disturbances of the peace.
Input from various media sources.