Ali’s blog

Mostly quant stuff with occasional digressions

18 years spent in airport

Posted by alifinmath on February 20, 2008

I couldn’t believe this story when I read it earlier this evening. To call it Kafkaesque is putting it way too mildly:

Mehran Karimi Nasseri, also known as Sir, Alfred Mehran, is an Iranian refugee who lived in the departure lounge of Terminal One in Charles de Gaulle Airport from 8 August 1988 until August 2006, when he was hospitalized for an unspecified ailment.

Over the years, Nasseri had become accustomed to his life in the airport terminal. He kept himself clean and rose at 5 A.M. every morning (approximately the time when the airport starts to welcome passengers in for the early flights) to wash in the public toilets. The airport staff sometimes washed his clothes for him and had donated a sofa for his use. He spent most of the day listening to the radio, reading books and writing his diary. This diary has been turned into an autobiography, The Terminal Man, in collaboration with British author, Andrew Donkin. The Terminal Man has been published in the U.K., Germany, Poland, Japan, and China. The book was reviewed in The Sunday Times as “a profoundly disturbing and brilliant book.”

This is not the only such case (though certainly it’s the one with the longest duration). Here’s another:

Burdened with debt and uncertain where his future lay, George decided it was time to walk out on his life.

Looking for somewhere warm and dry to sleep, he pitched up at Heathrow Airport and stayed for the best part of two-and-a-half years, surviving homelessness in its relative safety and comfort.


One Response to “18 years spent in airport”

  1. Chris Prouty said

    You’d think that in the era of international terrorism and a perceived crackdown on airport security that a man *living* in the terminal of a major European airport would raise red flags. I guess not. What an utterly bizarre story. His is an Earthly case of being stuck in purgatory, though given that it’s in an airport some might say hell.

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