Billionaire Naguib Sawiris wants to solve the refugee crisis. Sawiris, who chairs Orascom TMT, offered to buy and develop an island off the Mediterranean coast to help thousands of refugees fleeing conflicts in the Middle East.
The telecom tycoon first broached the idea in a tweet, in which he offered to buy an island from either Greece or Italy.
According to AFP, more than 2,000 have died at sea trying to reach Europe since January. Sawiris' tweet went viral after pictures of a drowned 3-year-old Syrian-Kurdish boy on a Turkish beach surfaced online. The picture, which continues to be shared on social media, has come to symbolize the suffering of migrants and the risks they take to flee danger.
It has also prompted more than 200,000 British citizens to sign a #RefugeesWelcome petition, causing UK's Prime Minister to back down on his stringent migrant policy and accept more applications for asylum seekers and refugees.
Sawiris, whose family developed the El Gouna resort, said that he planned to provide jobs for refugees during their stay to build houses, schools, and hospitals.
The billionaire conceded that it could be a challenging prospect, posting in a subsequent tweet that refugees would be free to return to their countries if they wish it: