This is the puzzling story of Mehran Karimi Nasseri, a refugee who had no home, nowhere to go and nowhere to stay. While this may seem like an average story of an unfortunate homeless man, that’s far from the truth. Nasseri simply wanted to seek shelter, but bureaucracy got in his way.
Charles De Gaulle Aiport in Paris is the second busiest airport in Europe – as it turns out, it was also the home of Mehran Karimi Nasseri for a staggering 18 years! The Iranian refugee came to Paris on August 26, 1988, and was set on transferring to a flight headed to the United Kingdom. But when he arrived in London, he was forced to return to Paris and had to stay at the terminal – which he couldn’t legally leave, either. Days, weeks, months and years went by, and he seemed less and less like a regular passenger, and more like a permanent resident.
While some elements of his story remain hazy, there’s no denying the fact that he had no choice but to make the airport terminal his home.