(I know. Stale topic.)
I don't know if you've watched The Terminal (starring Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones), which I found quite entertaining except that I felt a strange feeling of deja vu. The Terminal is screamingly a Hollywoodized version of a true story of a man who has been marroned (still is, I think) at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport for less charming reasons. Here's an old post of mine:
I’ve just read about this disgustingly crazy tale of a former Iranian national who has been living at Terminal One of Charles De Gaulle Airport for almost a decade. How did he find himself there when he came from a rich family back home, had finished Psychology in an England university and all?
Well, the woman whom he has known since birth as his biological mother confessed to him, after his father (and her husband) died of cancer, that he was an illegitimate child. The woman kept the secret for as long as her husband lived because she wanted to protect him from being stoned to death, literally, which is the penalty for adultery in Iran.
It turned out the boy she had been treating as a son was a product of her husband's illicit affair with a Swedish woman. Now that the father was gone, the illegitimate son was sent to England to study, but was eventually left on his own. In short he was slowly but deliberately banished by the only family he knew and ostracized from his homeland - forever.
The poor guy, who looks every inch an Arab, now lives literally as a hobo in the Paris airport, with only the barest essentials to keep him company. He ended up staying put in Paris after England and Belgium did not grant him asylum. A kind-hearted lawyer is said to have initiated legal help for this unfortunate man so he could have a legal recourse.
But it is too late. The man is now denying he was ever an Iranian nor has he ever been to Iran. He has assumed a new name, indeed a completely overhauled identity. He seems to have been in the clutches of false memory syndrome, denying everything that happened to him as a form of protective response to a world that rejected him many times over, or at several levels.
[I know the tragedy that befell so many people of late is] indescribable, but how can anything compare to the personal tragedy of this Iranian? If he dies, he has nobody, not a soul, to mourn him. He is a Nowhere Man, a man without a nation or a family, not even an identity.
He is an international taong grasa. He may well represent everything that’s wrong with the world.