In the wake of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi’s death and the haunting image that has been cemented in our hearts, the need for an answer to Syria’s refugee crisis has never been more imperative. Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris thinks he has the perfect solution and he certainly has the resources to pull it off. Now all he needs is the permission to do so.
The telecom executive announced via Twitter that he would like to buy an island to house the refugees looking to escape the strife in their home country. He tweeted “Greece or Italy, sell me an island,” as he feels that one of their many abandoned islands could easily accommodate up to 100,000 to 200,000 residents.
Despite the magnitude of the offer, Sawiris is uninterested by any opposition or criticism towards his plan. In response to those who think it may be foolish, he argues that it is completely feasible and will spend however much is necessary in order to make sure it happens.
He said, “I’ll make a temporary shelter for these people, I’ll make a small port or marina for the boats to land there. I’ll employ the people to build their own homes, their schools, a hospital, a university, a hotel.”
They would be free to return home any time they wanted, hoping that conditions improve in time. Sawiris also told CNN he often feels that politicians are heartless.
It is an incredibly generous gesture, and as more refugees continue to die in efforts to escape turmoil and provide better lives for their families, one can only hope that an effective plan of any kind is enforced immediately.