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Migrants crisis: This Egypt billionaire planning an island for refugees

Naguib Sawiris

Egypt’s third richest Naguib Sawiris, wants to buy an island for hundreds of thousands of refugees facing terrible danger as they flee from war in Syria and other places.

This Egyptian telecom tycoon, who’s reportedly worth $3 billion, wants to buy a Mediterranean Island to allow refugees a temporary shelter.

“Greece or Italy sell me an island, I’ll call its independence and host the migrants and provide jobs for them building their new country,” he wrote.

“You have dozens of islands which are deserted and could accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees,” Sawiris told AFP.

“And if things improve, whoever wants to go back (to their homeland) goes back,” said Sawiris, whose family developed the popular El Gouna resort on Egypt’s Red Sea coast.

He said that the migrants would be treated as “human beings”. “The way they are being treated now, they are being treated like cattle,” he explained

He announced the initiative on Twitter and insisted he was serious, tweeting “there is nothing to joke about. I don’t joke on the misery of people.”

According to Forbes estimation, buying an island off Italy or Greece could cost anywhere between $10-$100 million.

The image of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, a drowned Syrian toddler washed onto a Turkish beach, sparked horrified reactions around the world on Wednesday.