Man, 22, living in KL airport for 2 months

Man, 22, living in KL airport for 2 months

MALAYSIA - He's all dressed up but has nowhere to go.

For more than 50 days, this 22-year-old Palestinian has made the transit area of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) his home.

The plight of Mr Ahmed Kanan is strikingly reminiscent of the 2004 Tom Hanks movie The Terminal. In the movie, Hanks plays a man stuck in New York City airport for nine months.

Mr Ahmed, who was born in Syria and holds a Palestinian passport, has been barred from Malaysia for overstaying before.

At KLIA, Mr Ahmed, who left his home country due to unrest, has been sleeping on a couch at the airport's mezzanine floor.

He has been depending on transit passengers for his daily meal - usually a burger a day - and he bathes in a public toilet, The Star reported.

A kind airport cleaner washes his clothes for him and gives them back every few days. Access to the Internet, provided by a café, lets him keep in touch with family members.

Mr Ahmed's ordeal began when he arrived at KLIA on a tourist visa on Nov 26 from Moscow. He had been studying tourism for more than a year, but could not get his stay in Russia extended.

In Malaysia, he tried to register at the Universiti Teknologi Mara to take a course, but his application was rejected because of his tourist visa.

After a month-long stay, he flew to Laos, but was denied entry because he did not have a visa.

He was asked to return to Malaysia, where he was given a seven-day visa, but he overstayed for three months. In May, he left for Turkey but, lacking a visa, was denied entry and sent back to Malaysia. Reports said that Turkish officials had seized his passport, but he got it back this week.

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