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"The Terminal": Man Who Was Stuck in an Airport for 18 Years, Mehran Karimi Nasseri from 1988 - 2006

Mehran Karimi Nasseri (born 1946), also known as Sir Alfred Mehran,is an Iranian refugee who lived in the departure lounge of Terminal One in Charles de Gaulle Airport from 26 August 1988 until July 2006, when he was hospitalized.

His autobiography was published as a book, The Terminal Man, in 2004. Nasseri's story inspired the 2004 film The Terminal.

This story had also inspired a great movie called “The Terminal” which represents the sort of life that Nasseri lived within these 18 years. The film came out in 2004, whilst Nasseri was still stuck inside the airport, as he was also interviewed by the creators of the film as well as asked for the rights to use his story. In 2005, he was given over 300,000 US dollars for the rights to use his story.

Nasseri alleges that he was expelled from Iran in 1977 for protests against the Shah and after a long battle, involving applications in several countries, was awarded refugee status by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Belgium.

This allegedly permitted residence in many other European countries. However, this claim has been disputed, with investigations showing that Nasseri was never expelled from Iran.

Having one British parent, he decided in 1986 to settle in the UK, but en route there in 1988, his papers were lost when his briefcase was allegedly stolen.(Others indicate that Nasseri actually mailed his documents to Brussels while onboard a ferry to Britain, lying about them being stolen. Despite this setback, he boarded the plane for London but was promptly returned to France when he failed to present a passport to British immigration officials.

He was initially arrested by the French, but then released as his entry to the airport was legal and he had no country of origin to be returned to; thus began his residence at Terminal 1.

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