Mehran Karimi Nasseri, also known as Sir, Alfred Mehran, was an Iranian refugee who lived in the departure lounge of Terminal 1 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 1993 film Lost in Transit and the 2004 film The Terminal. He returned to living at the airport in September 2022, and died there of a heart attack in November 2022.
Nasseri was born in the Anglo-Persian Oil Company settlement located in Masjed Soleiman, Iran. His father, Abdelkarim, was an Iranian doctor working for the company which allowed Nasseri to grow up relatively affluently.
Nasseri has claimed that he was the result of an illegitimate affair, and that his mother was a nurse from Scotland working in the same place but has also claimed a Swedish mother. However, these claims were never substantiated, and it is most likely that Nasseri’s mother was an Iranian homemaker.
At age of 28, he arrived in the United Kingdom in September 1973, to take a three-year course in Yugoslav studies at the University of Bradford.
Nasseri’s 18-year stay at the airport ended in July 2006 when he was hospitalized and his sitting place was dismantled. Towards the end of January 2007, he left the hospital and was looked after by the airport’s branch of the French Red Cross; he was lodged for a few weeks in a hotel close to the airport.
On 6 March 2007, he was transferred to an Emmaus charity reception centre in Paris’s 20th arrondissement. As of 2008, he had been living in a Paris shelter, though in the wake of Nasseri’s death in 2022, the Associated Press reported that he had recently returned to living at the airport.
Nasseri died of a heart attack on 12 November 2022, at Charles de Gaulle Airport. An airport spokesperson said that Nasseri was homeless and had returned to live in a public area in the airport in September 2022.