Mehran Karimi Nasseri, The Iranian Exile Behind Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Terminal’ Dies In An Airport Terminal

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Mehran Karimi Nasseri The Terminal

Iranian
exile
Mehran
Karimi
Nasseri
will
always
be
remembered
for
his
indomitable
will
and
strong
resolve
when
he
chose
to
spend
almost
two
decades
in
an
airport
terminal
until
he
was
given
asylum
in
Paris.
His
struggle
inspired
many
documentaries
and
films,
most
notable
being
Steven
Spielberg’s

The
Terminal

starring
Tom
Hanks
and
Catherine
Zeta-Jones.
On
Saturday,
life
came
full
circle
as
Karimi
died
in
the
same
airport
he
spent
most
of
his
life
in.

As
per
reports
from
ANI,
Karimi
started
to
live
at
Paris’
Charles
de
Gaulle
airport
again
in
recent
weeks.
He
stayed
at
Terminal
2F.
On
Saturday
(12
November),
Mehran
suffered
from
a
heart
attack
and
later
succumbed
to
it,
breathing
his
last
there.

Mehran
Karimi
Nasseri
was
expelled
from
Iran
in
1977
for
protesting
against
the
Shah.
He
was
later
awarded
refugee
status
by
the
United
Nations
High
Commission
for
Refugees.
He
traveled
from
the
UK
to
Frans,
but
his
briefcase
that
contained
the
necessary
refugee
status
documents
were
allegedly
stolen
in
transit.
As
a
result,
he
was
denied
asylum
in
France
and
was
then
detained
in
Terminal
1
of
Paris’
Charles
De
Gaulle
airport
in
1988.
After
staying
in
the
airport
for
18
long
years,
Mehran
left
the
airport
for
the
first
time
as
he
needed
to
be
hospitalized.
After
leaving
the
hospital,
Mehran
Karimi
was
cared
for
by
the
airport’s
branch
of
the
French
Red
Cross.
In
2008,
he
started
living
in
a
Paris
shelter.
However,
just
a
few
weeks
before
his
demise,
he
returned
to
living
in
the
same
Airport.

During
his
stay
in
the
airport,
Nasseri
co-authored
a
book
with
British
writer
Andrew
Dorkin
named

The
Terminal
Man
.
The
Sunday
Times
reviewed
the
book
and
stated
that
it
was
‘profoundly
disturbing
and
brilliant.’

Apart
from

The
Terminal
,
other
fictional
works
based
on
Mehran’s
life
are

Tombés
du
Ciel

starring
Jean
Rochefort,
the
contemporary
opera

Flight
,
and
the
documentary

Sir
Alfred
of
Charles
De
Gaulle
Airport
.

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