he life of Mehran Karimi Nasseri was not an easy one as he had been stuck at Charles de Gaulle International Airport for over 18 years. Nasseri did not have the right documentation on him when he traveled from Iran to England. Without the right documentation, he was not allowed to continue his departure from France to England, however, as airports are considered international space, he was allowed to live there.
To get the whole story have a read of this article which better defines his past situation.
Sadly, Nasseri passed away due to a heart attack whilst he was still at the airport. Based on official reports, he passed away on the 12th of November 2022.
His story served as the basis for several films, including Spielberg’s The Terminal with Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones, a 1993 French film, an opera by the composer Jonathan Dove, and other works. Nasseri is not mentioned in the movie or any of the official advertising materials, despite the fact that the director’s production firm apparently gave him a sum for the rights to his narrative. In 2004, a ghostwritten autobiography by British novelist Andrew Donkin was made public.
After the great film, he received $300,000 for the rights to use his story, money which he was not able to use until 2006 when his papers were finally sorted out and he was free to go. That was the same time he encountered an illness that required him to be hospitalized. After the operation, he spent some time in a hotel nearby the airport, as if he could not leave his “home”.
Once he ran out of money he went to a homeless shelter and slowly reverted back to living in the airport, terminal 2F.
It seems that he got so used to living in the airport, he was not comfortable anywhere else.