BBC News says that an Iranian man who had lived at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris for nearly 20 years has died there.

Mehran Karimi Nasseri arrived at the Paris airport for the first time in 1988. Before that, he had been kicked out of several EU countries, including the Netherlands and Germany, because he didn’t have the right papers to stay there. The BBC says that Mehran lived in Belgium for a while before making Terminal 2F at the airport his permanent home.

The decedent, who was 77 years old at the time, had planned to go to England and was ready to leave France, but he didn’t have the right papers to enter the country.

CNN says that because of this, he was essentially stuck at the airport and couldn’t get on a flight or leave the building.

Mehran lived on a bench in the airport, and he kept all of his things in carts that he pushed around with him. Several sources say that he kept himself busy by writing in a journal and reading the newspaper.

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Steven Spielberg became interested in Mehran because of how unusual his life was. In 2004, Spielberg made a movie that was only loosely based on Mehran’s life.

The movie The Terminal is about a man who is stuck at an airport terminal because a war broke out in his home country and he can’t get home. The movie stars Tom Hanks. Throughout the movie, the Department of Homeland Security keeps the character played by Tom Hanks from entering or leaving the United States.

Even though he was recognized as a refugee and allowed to stay in France in 1999, Mehran lived at the Charles de Gaulle airport until 2006. The character played by Tom Hanks, on the other hand, only stayed at the airport for a few days.

Le Parisien said that Mehran had lived off the money he got for selling his story to Spielberg and had spent the last few years in homeless shelters in Paris before coming back to his bench in Terminal 2F a few weeks ago. Spielberg bought his story, which is how he got the money. He was found, so the story goes, with several thousand euros in his pocket.

The French news outlet talked about how they had talked to him in 2004 and how, after Spielberg’s movie made him famous all of a sudden, he was giving up to six interviews a day. “[I’m] flattered to see that [my] experience could inspire films,” he was reported to have said.

Le Parisien said that it was too bad that Mehran, who called himself Sir Alfred, wouldn’t sign the papers even though he was allowed to stay in France in 1999.

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“They are not in my name. I am no longer who I was. My name is now Sir Alfred Merhan and I am not Iranian. My father was Swedish and my mother, Danish,” he had stated at the time. Because of this decision, he would not be able to leave the airport for a while.

In the wake of his recent death, an airport spokeswoman told CNN the following: “[The] whole airport community was attached to him, and our staff looked after him as much as possible during many years, even if we would have preferred him to find a real shelter.”

Le Parisien heard from another worker at the airport: “He used to sit in his seat, always in the same place, and wouldn’t move. In front of him were his things in his cart. When ADP put a white sheet around the seat this afternoon, I understood that something had happened.”

“I saw him downstairs every day […] He was a person who was very calm, who posed no problem, but who did not speak to anyone,” they added.