A Christian businessman seeking to buy an entire island solely for the refugees from the conflict-struck Middle East.
According to media reports, a wealthy Coptic Christian businessman named Naguib Sawiris has expressed his intentions to buy an island from either Greece or Turkey to be used to resettle tens and thousands of refugees fleeing life-threatening situation in the Middle East.
Billionaire Sawiris declared that he will name the island after 3-year-old Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi, whose picture lying face-down on a beach has jolted the slumbering world. “I actually must admit, it’s the picture of Aylan that woke me up,” Sawiris said.
“It was a very touching picture. In addition to that, the way these pictures were coming out of Hungary, the way these refugees were being treated by the authorities there, and being, you know, beaten and put into the trains and buses, I mean it was just too much.”
Naguib Sawiris further indicated that merely buying an island wont do good to these homeless refugees still several challenges would be glaring at him, for instance refugees would still need visas to live on the island.
“The challenge of this idea is — whether it’s an island in Greece or in Italy — it falls under the jurisdiction of Italy or Greece. So, the first point is, I would like to have the consent of the prime minister of Italy or Greece to house and host these refugees in this island. Finding an island and buying the island is the second point. But I think the challenge here is really to get, because you can’t just take people and put them on an island that you bought that falls under jurisdiction,” he continued.
“They don’t have visas. We need a passport control agency. We need people to check them out. You need their data. You need customs. So the real challenge of the idea is that to have the authorities accept the fact that you will host immigrants there. And specifically Greece has a lot of islands that are for sale and they should offer me an island for sale, but mainly accept that we host these immigrants there.”
At the same time, He is well aware of the dangers from the terror group Islamic State, said, “Actually, the Iranians, the Saudis, the Egyptians, the whole world are united that the one that needs to be fought is ISIS. They are the … ones chopping heads, killing innocent people, kidnapping and ransoming and raping women in front of our eyes.
“And we are sitting there and watching, you know. So these countries should at least do something. With all respect to your president, Barack Obama, I mean sending 300 trainees — people to train the Iraqi Army — is not a solution for what I call the soldiers of the devil.”
The Christian billionaire is of the opinion that the ongoing civil war in Syria will conclude anytime soon, whereas, he believes his anticipated island idea would need to be sustainable for the future. He stated that he also intends to build transitory houses, a school and a hospital, while providing the refugees job opportunities so that they would be able to build up the island.