Exiled Iranian, Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who inspired the creation of Steven Spielberg’s movie, “The Terminal”, passed away from a heart attack on Saturday (Nov. 12) in Terminal 2F of Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport. Mehran had been living there again in recent weeks. Read on to know about this man, who lived an unconventional terminal life.
Who Was Mehram Karimi Nasseri?
Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who was around 76 years old at the time of his death, was born in the Anglo-Persian Oil Company settlement located in Masjed Soleiman, Iran. His father was a doctor in the said company, while his mother is believed to be a nurse who hailed from Scotland, and worked in the same space.
Nasseri arrived in the United Kingdom in Sept. 1973 to pursue a three-year course in Yugoslav studies at the University of Bradford. Also known as “Sir Alfred”, he alleged that he was expelled from Iran in 1977 during the protests against the Shah. He also created a controversy when he allegedly permitted residence in many European countries, but this claim was disputed, with investigations revealing that he was never expelled from Iran.
Nasseri landed in Terminal 1 of Charles de Gaulle Airport and settled there in 1988 after Great Britain denied him political asylum as a refugee. After he declared himself stateless, living at the airport became a deliberate choice. He was always seen with his luggage by his side, spending most of the time reading, writing diary entries and studying economics.
All About Mehran Nasseri’s Death…
Mehran first left the airport after being hospitalised in 2006. But then, he had already spent 18 years in the terminal. His situation became the inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s 2004 film “The Terminal,” starring Tom Hanks as an Eastern European man who resides in New York’s John F. Kennedy airport after being denied entry to the United States. It was reported that Nasseri was paid around $250,000 to sell his story.
It was reported that Nasseri was extremely excited about this movie, and carried a poster advertising this film at the airport. He even draped the film’s poster on his suitcase next to the bench. However, it was unlikely that he ever got a chance to see it in cinemas.
Nasseri also wrote an autobiography, “The Terminal Man”, published in 2004. The Iranian man passed away yesterday (Nov. 12) from a heart attack in the airport’s Terminal 2F. It has been reported that police and medical staff were ultimately unable to save him. The report suggests that “officials stated that Nasseri had been living in the airport again in recent weeks”.
Nasseri’s story also became an inspiration behind the 1993 French film “Tombes du Ciel”, which was internationally released under the title “Lost in Transit”. Nasseri’s life is also been chronicled in GQ’s short story “The Fifteen-Year Layover” and a documentary, Waiting for Godot at De Gaulle (2000).