Egyptian billionaire wants to buy an island to house refugees

The migrants “are being treated like cattle,” says Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris.

Naguib Sawiris

Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris has asked Greece and Italy to sell him an island so that he can develop it for the hundreds of thousands of refugees in the area.

In a television interview Swairis said he would approach the governments of Greece and Italy, saying there would be “temporary shelters to house the people, then you start employing the people to build housing, schools, universities, hospitals.

“And if things improve, whoever wants to go back (to their homeland) goes back.”

But he admitted his plan could face challenges, such as figuring out jurisdiction and customs regulations.

Swairis said the important thing is the refugees will be treated like “human beings.”

“The way they are being treated now, they are being treated like cattle,” he said.

When pictures surfaced of a three-year-old boy’s body lying face-down on the beach, it ignited an outcry around the world.

The Syrian boy, Aylan Kurdi, was one of 12 refugees who drowned when their boat sunk before reaching the Greek island of Kos. Thousands of refugees have died trying to reach Europe by sea this year.

Twelve bodies, five of which were children, were recovered. Nine of the 23 people on board the two boats were said to have survived.

However, it was the image of the three-year-old lying face down on the shore that tugged at the heart strings of people worldwide.

At the same time hundreds of refugees were stopped from boarding trains in Budapest, Hungary, in a two-day stand-off with authorities.

The number of refugees that have entered Europe this year from Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, have reached record levels, with Germany expecting to take in a staggering 800 000 refugees.

This large increase in asylum seekers has created tension in the European Union, as other countries are not as willing to accept refugees as Germany is.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons




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  • Justin Sawchuk

    Why dont you buy an ilsand in a muslim country rather then OCCUPYING EUROPE

    • JockCranley

      are you serious because of how deplorable the middle east is right now with all that terrorist garbage going on like who tf would wanna live there man you’d be doing the same thing as them tryna get out

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          • Original People

            You all right mate

    • Danuis

      What island does an Arab nation have on hand, hmm, smartass?

      Socotra is a part of – but beyond – Yemen, which is in civil war between the Houtis/Iranians, Loyalists/Saudis, and Terrorists/Daesh; and is not even the opposite side of the Arab Peninsula, but beyond it off the horn of Africa. Bahrain is an island, but it’s already built up and the part that isn’t is…a scorching desert; and adding millions will result in death.

      Lease out a island in the Aegean no one uses but is fertile and you have a quick solution. There are a few of them. Hell, Greece gets some cash; Refugees get put on an island, win win.

      • Ahmed Abd Elnabi

        Yes Greece could benefit very much from this

  • Carol Evans

    Amazing and Applauded. He is providing a full solution. It is not about just taking them but providing them with safety, security and a future. Not all those coming out are Muslim so the island would be all religions and perhaps will show the harmony that can exist between all religions. I hope this solution can be expedited. If purchase is too far from being supporte perhaps leased for 100 years with possibility of extending.

    • Luther

      Not good enough for the migrants. They don’t want refugee camps. They want to get into the wealthiest countries with the big benefits, Germany, UK, Sweden, and aren’t about to settle for less.
      Libs always seem to assume that migrants are “fleeing” the bad guys, as though the bad guys stay behind and aren’t just as eager to get into wealthier countries for a better life for themselves and their families. Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, for example, has two anchor babies through birth tourism.

      • John Kennedy

        I’ve got a better solution, lets kick sociopaths like you out, and give the refugees your stuff.

        • Weaselface McKenzie

          I love how people ignore that most of these people are fleeing regions that the West bombed/destabilised in the first place.

          • mickrussom

            Fundamentally they are satanic islamics running from other more murderous and corrupt muslims. Muzzies are not human.

        • mickrussom

          Im armed to the teeth come pull me out of my home, traitor rat.

      • driz0

        most of the people leaving are doing so because of war and poverty, they are all in need of help, its crazy that they are being treated the way they are and most already have families in those countries. what you speak of is ridiculous, Sweden for example gives social services but then doesn’t allow them to move up in the totem pole, they just keep them there. So whos feeding who welfare?

        • Luther

          You aren’t following the news very carefully.

          An article in El Pais points out that almost all of the refugees who come to Hungary are not planning to stay. Their real destination is Germany or Sweden. And what do Germany and Sweden have that countries like Hungary don’t? Exactly.

          There is a lot of discussion of what the refugees are fleeing (war, poverty, etc.) but not nearly enough of what they are traveling towards. For instance, these refugees don’t seem interested in fleeing to Russia, in spite of its very porous and extremely long border and its depopulated areas that could easily house a hundred million people. Even Serbia and Hungary – peaceful and prosperous countries – are of no interest.

          • Original People

            Why would you stay in fucking hungary when you can go to England, Germany or Sweden, countries where these people might have friends or family that can help them.
            Hungary treat their own citizens like subhumans so what makes you think they would treat the refugees right ?

          • driz0

            nice website…real legit

          • siujoey

            Bwahahaha, you just used “” as a source. I am getting off the internet for the night, it won’t get any better than that. No wonder your views are so skewed and small minded, you read someone’s blog and regard it as a “news” source. Congratulations sir, you are a shining example of where our country has gone wrong.

      • anononodon

        Oh shut up and go drown in your selfishness. Some people are so greedy they make me want to throw up.

      • Aml

        Chances are they don’t even know about “benefits”
        Maybe they really are just looking for freedom and security, and a chance to build a future to for themselves and their children.

      • Symbiote

        You seem to forget that the military industrial complex owns the equipment being used to create the wars in the first place, and these wars are fostered by scumbags thousands of miles away.

        • Luther

          Certainly this all is a result of Iraq war, Afghanistan war, Syrian war, Lidyan war, all directly or indirectly sponsored by US and allies.

      • Rohit Sakhuja

        you are a prick my friend

        • Luther

          What is your explanation for the desperation of the migrants to flee Greece, Italy, and Hungary? In part these people are motivated by safety concerns, but in large part they are taking advantage of a multi-billions dollar smuggling operation and the excuse of war to emigrate to wealthy countries, much like the flood of Indians sneaking into the US to make more money.

      • Luther you are fucking deluded.

        • Luther

          If these were refugees fleeing war, would they be so fussy and desperate to flee the poorer countries of Europe for Germany and UK? Of course not. A multi-billion dollar smuggling industry has grown up and migrants are taking advantage of war as an opportunity to resettle in Germany and the UK.

  • califmerchant

    why dont the ARAB countries take the refugees in

    • Ahmed Abd Elnabi

      Here in egypt
      We have nearly 400,000 Syrian refugees
      And they are treated like all Egyptians in regards to education, health care and housing
      And Syrian students are exempt from tuition fees in Egypt
      Enrollment of children of Syrian refugees in the Egyptian education institutions is very high compared to other hosting countries

      • Terry Wilson

        Not to bash Egypt, but your economic opportunities for work and quality of life are much higher in Western Europe. Also the crime rate and stability of the countries they are fleeing to are more stable.

        • Ahmed Abd Elnabi

          At Least we treat them as our own citizens
          And they get all the rights that the Egyptian citizen has
          As I said in the comment above

          And We did not make them live in tents in the open
          And a large number of them have already found work in Egypt
          They are hard-working people
          As for the safety. Egypt is very safe now
          So far, I did not see a European state do even half of that for Syrian refugees

    • Danuis

      Well lets see, Iraq is being fought over by Daesh, Iran, USA, and SA as well;
      Jordan is hosting a million odd refugees, Lebanon has a few as well, Saudi Arabia is mostly desert; Bahrain, UAE, and Qatar are, in order, an island, a cluster of city states surrounded by deserts, and a desert peninsula, Yemen is far away and in civil war, Oman is also a poor desert state, Egypt is beyond Israel and is fighting an insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, and besides the Nile River is…a desert with a few wadis that can’t support millions.

      The Arab nations which CAN do something ARE, and they’re filled to the brim already.

  • Luther

    One cannot help but feel sympathy for the poor Europeans who are being overrun.

    • Sitka_Rose

      It’s called payback…says this NA. I have NO sympathy deep into my bones.. I was born with no sympathy for the ‘poor’ Europeans. What goes around, comes

      • Unic0rnBac0n

        Eh? wtf has Europe done?

      • Slapa

        Wow, you’re dense, thanks for invading Iraq USA, or, thanks for the “hunt” on Bin Laden USA and thanks for forcing Europe into the mess you created, USA. Would be appropriate.

        And if you’re talking about history, you should not. I’m not still pissed at the Spanish who took a part of my country during the Spanish empire in 1568-1648. That’s just plain a plain stupid excuse to be angry about nothing.

  • Maurice Adelmon

    yeah and how will they get row food, clothing, medical supplies, communications etc on the island? Will the billionaire also pay for that ? Because each migrant costs Europe about 90’000 euros, and there’s 2000 a day coming.


    Funny how they don’t want to stay in Serbia, Hungary or the safe amount of countries they travel through wanting to get to Germany… welfare handouts for an easy life. Re-settle them in Egypt and not in Europe. I don’t see any gulf states putting their hands up to take their own native speakers.

    • Terry Wilson

      Funny how one of the richest countries in the world Saudi Arabia isn’t offering to take them in.

      • Ahmed Abd Elnabi

        Yes Especially that Saudi Arabia is a major player in what is happening to Bashar al-Assad

  • brad

    Create the City of Atlantis 🙂

  • naaaan

    why the heck is Pakistan in that list..nor is Pakistan fighting a freaking war, nor does it have an outgoing refugee population…instead Pakistan has taken in a huge number of refugees in from Afghanistan..Thank you USA…

  • AgTip

    This man appears wonderfully humanitarian and his solution great for everyone … except, perhaps, those who already inhabit the island … although working out a solution with the natives could be beneficial to them.

  • Adam M. Blakeway

    MIT Graduate in Architecture, here. Look into the Seasteading Institute ( and hire me on as a designer. We can make this a reality, and with the added benefit of customization. Why buy an existing island when you can simply make your own and float it off the coast of Egypt?

    • Bob

      How long do you suppose that would take? the war would be over by the time they’re finished.

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  • Minymina

    Is that supposed to be Katy Perry?
    Sh!t photoshop.

  • Unic0rnBac0n

    Greece will benefit and so will the refugees. It’s a win win.

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    Hope he gets the island soon.

  • Maurice Adelmon

    And why is it always fucking EUROPE that has to house the poor, desperate fucks of the world ? Why not the brilliant and so rich Dubai ? Or Rihad ? huh ?

  • Pingback: Egyptian billionaire wants to buy island to house migrants. | On Reddit()

  • Slapa

    This is a plan that should be executed by Europe and not some billionaire. Take over a Greek island, and wash away all the debt Greece has standing with the EU. WIN-WIN

  • lala

    I have actually been saying this for months. How hard could it be for the EU to setup a new island state and relocate these people to it? All you need is to buy a big island, put some basic infrastructure in and then give these migrants two choices, you either relocate there or you go back to your home country.

    I really do feel for these people but the more David Cameron backs down and takes more of them into the UK, the more that are going to want to come. As was pointed out, these people are safe as soon as they hit Turkey so they are basically just economic migrants.

    It’s not acceptable and something needs to be done and creating a new state / country seems like the ideal solution here.It SERIOUSLY cannot be THAT hard with all the billions we spend on aid…I mean people need to get a grip and start looking at a REAL solution to this problem.

    Also next time, think about not let us getting into this state in the first place. This has been brewing for years and we’ve just sat back and allowed it to happen.

  • Kelly Pawlowski

    if he does buy an island he should ban all religion on it after all thats what causes war

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  • Lone Ranger

    It’s an interesting idea, and something the EU really should look into. Because what will happen when 1,000,000+ refugees come to Europe looking for jobs and a better life? They won’t find any jobs!! There are 2,000,000 unemployed in Germany, and close to 25,000,000 unemployed in the EU. So a lot of refugees will be disappointed because there are no jobs for them.

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