If you happened to pass through Terminal 1 of Charles de Gaulle International Airport between August 26, 1988 and July 2006, you may have spotted Mehran Karimi Nasseri. If you thought he was just another passenger waiting to catch a flight, you’d only be part right.
He was Iranian, but his citizenship was revoked, and the refugee papers he was issued were lost or stolen. As a result, he was stuck at Charles de Gaulle Airport, where he ended up living for 18 years. If that sounds familiar, you should know that one of the ways “Sir Alfred” (as Nasseri came to be known) supported himself was by writing a book that (loosely) inspired the movie The Terminal.