Naguib Sawiris' Island For Syrian Refugees, Aylan Island, May End Up Near Greece

Patrick Frye

Billionaire Naguib Sawiris' island for refugees from Syria is now nearing a real possible location. The idea for the refugee island was conceived after the death of 3-year-old Syrian Aylan Kurdi, who was found dead lying face on the Turkish coast. Although exact details are still forthcoming from Sawiris, it appears the island for Syrian refugees may end up being located near Greece or Italy, and the final name is Aylan Island.

In a related report by the Inquisitr, the issue of allowing Syrian refugees into America is complicated by the fact that ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other Islamic groups may follow the doctrine of Al-Taqiyya, where the Prophet Mohammed commanded his followers to lie about their motivations in order to conquer enemy countries. In recent months, there have been literal signs left by supporters of ISIS in West Virginia.

"Greece or Italy [might] sell me an island. I'll call it independence and host the migrants and provide jobs for them building their new country," explained Sawiris. "Crazy idea. Maybe, but at least temporary until they can return to their countries. I found a name for the Island: ILAN, the young Syrian child thrown on Turkish shore by the sea to remind us! Now I need to find the Island!"

When asked about the feasibility of such a project, he told reporters he intended on contacting Greece and Italy about purchasing an island.

"Of course it's feasible," Sawiris responded. "You have dozens of islands which are deserted and could accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees."

The billionaire believes that the refugee island will need between $10 million and $100 million USD in order to get started, but although donations may raise that money eventually, he believes the hardest challenge is building infrastructure since the Syrian refugees are coming with nothing.

"The main thing would be investment in infrastructure," he stated, "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."

Back in September, an announcement said that any volunteers for Aylan Island should email their proposed contributions to The African billionaire also explained that the ILAN island would be set up as a legal entity, where anyone who donates will receive shares in the company. Thus, all volunteers become partners in the project, and any money put into the asset will never be lost.

But the concept of creating Aylan Island based upon a joint-stock company has raised some questions.

"The idea of creating a joint-stock company for a charitable purpose is very strange, if not bizarre," said Melissa Berman, president and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. "In other circumstances like this people create a charitable trust or charitable organization, then if the original purpose isn't workable you use those resources for a nonprofit purpose."

Speaking through his representatives, Naguib Sawiris says he has reason to be optimistic but "due to the delicacy of the issue he has not disclosed specific reasons for his optimism." Overall, it estimates that there are more than 4.2 million refugees in the world today, and the United Nations is seeking to raise $189,581,596 to fund health, education, and livelihood programs.

[Photo by Nadine Rupp/Getty Images]