Iranian Who Inspired “The Terminal” Dies At A Paris Airport

Iranian man who spent 18 years residing at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and whose story served as a loose inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s film “The Terminal” passed away on Saturday, according to authorities.

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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. He was treated by police and a medical crew, but they were unable to save him, the official claimed. The official was not allowed to have his or her name made public.

From 1988 to 2006, Nasseri resided in Terminal 1 of the airport, initially out of the law since he lacked residency documents and then by apparent choice.

He slept on a red plastic bench every year, making friends with airport officials, taking showers in the staff bathrooms, journaling, reading periodicals, and watching the passing travellers.

He was given the nick of Lord Alfred by the staff, and he quickly gained notoriety among travellers.

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In 1999, while sitting on a bench and smoking a pipe, he told The Associated Press, “Eventually, I will leave the airport. I appear frail with long thin hair, sunken eyes, and hollow cheeks. However, I have yet to receive a passport or transit visa.

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. In 1974, he left Iran 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.

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