Little Bits of History

The Terminal Man

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 26, 2010

Mehran Karimi Nasseri

August 26, 1988: Mehran Karrimi Nasseri arrives at the Terminal One departure lounge in Charles de Gaulle Airport, France. On August 1, 2006 Nasseri fell ill and was taken to the hospital. He has not returned. Why would anyone live at an airport for nearly twenty years? Nasseri is an Iranian refugee who claims his father was an Iranian doctor working for the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and his mother was a British nurse. His family disputes this.

Nasseri came to the UK in 1973 to study at Bradford University. While there, he participated in protests against the Shah of Iran. He returned to Iran in August 1975 when tuition was no longer forthcoming. He claims that on arrival at Tehran’s airport, he was taken immediately to prison where he was tortured for four months. He was then expelled from the country.

He asked for asylum in West Germany and the Netherlands in 1977, France in 1978, Yugoslavia in 1979, France again in 1980 and all were denied. He applied for emigration to the UK and tried to enter that country. He was expelled first from the UK, then Germany, and finally accepted into Belgium in 1980. He lived there until 1986 when he tried to gain access into the UK again. He claimed he was mugged and lost all identification papers.

After arriving without papers at Charles de Gaulle airport, he was moved to Zone d’attente (waiting zone) and has stayed on. His case has been taken up by human rights lawyers. In 1992, the French courts ruled that Nasseri couldn’t be expelled because he entered the country legally, but he need not be granted refugee status since he had no proper paperwork. His story about his plight has changed over time. A fictionalized version of his story made it to the big screen with Tom Hanks starring in The Terminal; Nasseri received $250,000 for his story rights.

“Where could one settle more pleasantly than [in] one’s home?” – Cicero

”He who troubles his household will inherit the wind.”- Bible, Proverbs 11:29

“Home is where the heart is.” – Pliny the Younger

“Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.” – John Howard Payne

Also on this day, in 1883 Krakatau erupts.

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