Wasfi Tayseer Jarad, 34, is currently living in the Dubai airport, Gulf News reported Thursday. He has no passport because the Syrian government canceled his when Dubai sent it to the consulate for renewal.
He was sentenced to seven years in 2010 but granted early release after memorizing the Koran in jail.
Jarad's family is living in a refugee camp in Jordan. He said he tried flying to Lebanon and Turkey but was not admitted to either country.
After spending his money on plane tickets, he is living on handouts from sympathetic airport workers in Terminal 2. He usually has one hamburger a day and washes in airport restrooms.
His father is trying to get him a new Syrian passport that would give him more freedom to travel.
Syria issued him a document that allows him only to return there, where he fears he will be killed. His homeland, now ripped apart by civil war, is the one place he does not want to be.
"I wish I could go back to Dubai jail. I cannot tolerate my situation with no place to go," he said.