Egyptian Billionaire Wants to Buy an Island for Refugees (Links)

Egyptian Billionaire Wants to Buy an Island for Refugees (Links)

Moved to action by the photo of lifeless three-year-old refugee Aylan Kurdi washed ashore on a beach earlier this month, Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris intends to purchase a Mediterranean island to provide a safe haven for refugees. He would name the refuge “Aylan Island.” You can listen to him talk about it at the CNN link below.

An Egyptian Billionaire’s Offer to Buy an Island for Refugees Is Closer to Becoming Reality (Link)

Naguib Sawiris, one of the region’s wealthiest men, said he has identified two privately owned Greek islands that would be well-suited for the project. “We have corresponded with their owners and expressed our interest to go into negotiation with them,” Sawiris said in a statement… ~ Ivana Kottasova, CNN Money

Egyptian Mogul Identified & Negotiating to Buy 2 Greek Islands for Refugees (Link)

While acknowledging that he is willing to spend up to $200 million on the purchase, the TV tycoon praised the strong response from volunteers and investors that are willing to help the noble cause. “I have got around 10,000 emails. Many people said they would volunteer to come and help me build this city, I have two people saying they want to donate $10m and so on,” he said. ~ RT

The European Refugee Crisis and Syria Explained

Written by
JoAnn Chateau
  • It’s a great idea and certainly born of good intentions but I fear it over simplifies the situation. Many of the refugees want to get to a particular country because they already have family there. Only one third of the people seeking refuge are Syrian, the other two thirds made up of many nationalities from the middle east and north Africa. Many practice different (and conflicting) religions. I fear that even if the idea of a ‘rescue’ island is attractive in the first instance for these exhausted, sick and frightened people, bringing together such disparate people would only lead to trouble and strife further down the road. You only have to look back at what happened after the second world war when the map of Europe was re-drawn and people found themselves living in new countries or as diaspora groups. All these years later there is still disharmony and worse as a consequence. having said that I’m not sure what the answer is – I’m ashamed that my own country (UK) is taking so few people. But the minority who do not want them are shouting the loudest, either through ignorance or (mostly) unfounded fear and the government is using that as an excuse in my view. The who situation is showing up huge fissures in the coherence of the European Union, it seems impotent to make it’s members play ball and take their fair share. The divisions worry me deeply as I wonder where this will lead us.

    • Rebecca,

      Thanks for commenting on a very complex issue.

      A correction on my part – I meant to remove the adjective from ‘Syrian refugees’ in the first paragraph when I was editing – I just fixed that error, all refugees would be welcome.

      One of the things I especially like about this proposal is that the refugees are free to leave whenever they want. Still, I think precautions might be needed to prevent exploitation of refugees so the island doesn’t become a financial trap they cannot leave. Like, as paid workers to build their own community, would they earn a fair wage that would enable them to save money to buy air tickets to another country?

      All the valid ‘complications’ you mention are part of this huge, tragic mess. There really is no good remedy to the horrors of war. However, to eliminate war, we need to figure out how to make it unprofitable.

      You are embarrassed by the UK, and many Americans are embarrassed at the low number of worldwide refugees accepted here. Raised only to 85,000 in 2016 and 100,000 in 2017 (Currently, 70,000) – what with our ‘spacious skies’ and all.

      God bless you.

      • Thanks JoAnn. Certainly it’s good for people to come up with creative ideas/solutions -which is more than the politicians seem to be managing at the moment. It could be that the island proposal could provide part of the solution – I would imagine it would be appealing to some. If the news I’m hearing is to be believed it’s estimated that there are likely to be more than a million more leaving Syria in particular in the next year and who knows after that. And what to do about the Syrian regime and ISIS? Do we just allow them to continue until their country is almost empty? As you say there is no good or single remedy and all we can do is help where we can to make things more comfortable for those fleeing and put pressure on the politicians to humiliate them into action.

      • More than a million refugees next year, from Syria alone! Maybe the UN could take care of dispersing them around the globe. Help them get safely to their destination and help them get settled. Every country in good standing should take their share of refugees and/or donate funds.

  • Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    “Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris intends to purchase a Mediterranean island to provide a safe haven for Syrian refugees. He would name the refuge “Aylan Island.” …. this is a real human being!!

JoAnn Chateau

Who’s Writing?

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She writes fiction about Chester, the Alpha Bichon -- with a dash of humor and a dab of Poli-Sci. Her views and insights are tinted by a former profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and training in Library and Information Science. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.


Chester is a scruffy little Bichon dog, with a congenial Napoleon Complex, and stars in "The Chester Chronicles." He sometimes reports independent Canine News -- NO corporate treats accepted, NO corporate bias. Woof!

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Graffiti Girl (GG) is curator at She's progressive to the core, and easily blown away by serendipity and/or good food. (OK, GG is really JoAnn.) GG's posts signal that news or content from another website is a "must-see" and "must-remember."