Not my usual kind of story for today but this man was definitely missing his Mom. When his father died of cancer, his mother informed him that she was not his real mother and he was the result of an affair between his father and a Scottish nurse. He was 23 years old.
He was granted refugee status by Belgium in 1981 and tried to travel on to Britain to find his real mother, whom he believed resided in Glasgow. He discarded his identification papers onboard an England-bound ship in the belief he would no longer require them. He was mistaken and this rendered him into a stateless limbo.
Repeatedly refused admittance to the UK and sent back to Belgium or France, he eventually gave up his quest and settled into a life in exile in August 1988 at Charles de Gaulle Airport. In 1992, a French court ruled that Nasseri had entered the airport legally as a refugee and could not be expelled from it. At Charles de Gaulle, he spent most of his time on a red bench on the lower floor of terminal 1. He was known to decline donations and gifts but did accept the occasional meal voucher from airport staff. He lived in the airport’s Terminal 1 from 1988 until 2006, first in legal limbo because he lacked residency papers and later by choice.
His saga inspired a movie by Steven Spielberg called The Terminal starring Tom Hanks. He ended up in a hospital for an operation. Then moved to a hotel near the airport, paid for with the money he’d received from the film rights. When that ran out, he moved to a shelter for homeless people. In recent weeks, he returned to living at the airport again. He died on Saturday around midday after suffering a heart attack in the airport’s Terminal 2F.
~ RIP ~ Mehran Karimi Nasseri Asked by a journalist in 2003 whether he felt angry about having lost 15 years of his life at an airport terminal, he replied: “No angry. I just want to know who my parents are.” Maybe he has now been reunited with his Scottish mother and will have learned the full truth from his Iranian father.