Migrants Island .. How did the dream of an Egyptian billionaire to solve the refugee crisis end? | Political news

Cairo A remote island that embraces refugees to satisfy them against the scourge of homeland wars and the anxieties of waiting at the borders of countries, that dream that appears outside the door of the utopian city of the Greek philosopher Plato, Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris tried to implement on the ground, and even within the homeland of the famous philosopher himself, but the historical ideal was not possible Its verification in the 21st century.

Seven years ago, Sawiris tried to allocate a safe area to receive refugees on a Greek island in the Mediterranean, but he did not do so, and recently announced the reason for the incompleteness of his project, which the lack of approval by the Greeks. authorities.

Through his Twitter account, in response to a tweet by Jordanian author Amal Al-Harthy, in which she wanted to allocate a safe haven for refugees, the Egyptian businessman said: “The problem was not (it was not) around the “The problem was in the Greek authorities’ agreement to allow immigrants to live on the island and to provide access and security procedures.” .

The beginning of the dream

In April, Forbes magazine announced the list of the richest Arabs for 2022, and Sawiris, 67, was third among the richest people in the Middle East, with a fortune of $ 3.4 billion in 2022, an increase of $ 200 million over the year. the past.

As for the island’s story, it dates back to September 2015, when the Egyptian billionaire was affected by the death scene of the Syrian child, Aylan Kurdi, who drowned during a painful sea voyage his family undertook to reach European borders , to curse his desire to buy an island that houses refugees.

At the time, he explained through several press releases his dream that he would build a small harbor or a marina on the island, and let people build their houses in addition to schools, a hospital, a university and a hotel.

Sawiris continued his dreams at the time, saying he could employ 100,000 to 200,000 refugees on the island and set up a joint venture with an initial capital of $ 100 million, indicating that he would “Ilan” the island. will call. .

“Ilan’s photo woke me up, I said I can not sit without doing something, and I pretend it is not my problem,” he added.

The Arab Empire List for 2022

And whether the awarding of an island to refugees was just a passing dream or a kind of free publicity for the Egyptian businessman, Sawiris said: “I do not need anything. I do not need fame. I am famous. “I do not need money. I have money.” There’s nothing in it for my own good … I just want to feel good about myself that I did something and did not sit still … That’s it. “

He stressed that in order to turn the idea into reality, the island must be subject to the authorities of the country falling within its borders, as well as many procedures related to the follow-up of refugee data.

Sawiris has indeed identified two privately owned Greek islands suitable for implementing his dream, and has announced communications with the owners of the two islands.

And after 3 years of announcing his dream, Sawiris answered a question via Twitter about the dream he could not achieve, emphasizing that buying an island for Syrian refugees is the dream he could not actually achieve do not convert.

Utopia and threat

A number of social media pioneers interacted with the idea of ​​buying an island and allocating it to refugees, and some of them expressed solidarity with the utopian idea after the world failed to cope with the humanitarian crisis. of the wars, while others saw that the Greek government’s refusal of Sawiris’ request was appropriate, as it was a security threat to its borders and a relinquishment of a piece of its territory for the benefit of citizens of other countries.

And last August, Sawiris – a Christian by religion – sparked widespread controversy on social media platforms after proposing that his country house Afghan refugees after the Taliban took control of power in Afghanistan, following the departure of US occupation forces.

closed island

It seems that the Greek government quoted Sawiris’ dream, but in its own way. Last September, the Greek government opened a refugee camp on the island of Samos, and it was described as the first closed and monitored camp as it surrounded is through barbed wire and surveillance cameras.

The Greek authorities have placed restrictions on refugees, as access to the camp will only be reserved for asylum seekers with electronic chip cards, with entry and exit at night prohibited.

Although Athens has confirmed that the secluded camp, covering an area of ​​12,000 square meters, will meet European refugee reception standards, European media have reported concerns of human rights organizations from that camp as it identifies of the most vulnerable people effectively and restricts the access of asylum seekers to services and increases The severity of the adverse impact of restriction on people’s mental health.

The representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Greece, Mireille Girard, expressed concern that the camp was closed. She added in statements to Agence France-Presse that the UNHCR believes that the asylum seeker needs protection as he is not a criminal or a person who represents a danger to society, and pointed out that the camps should be open.

Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris (social networking sites)

Other solutions

The ideal dream of the Egyptian businessman to allocate a place to refugees in what looks like a utopia, look at the policies of states and the legal frameworks that regulate the handling of refugees, no matter how human those policies and laws are.

Away from the utopia of solutions, many human rights organizations and research centers have begun to refute the means to resolve the refugee crisis.

The process of resettlement to other European and Western countries has become more difficult since 2015, according to a report by the McClum Care Carnegie Endowment for the Middle East, and populist politicians and security events have contributed to the tightening of EU membership immigration screws to hold fast. state.

The report, entitled “The Refugee Crisis in the Arab World”, stated that European countries were eager to keep Syrian migrants in their neighboring countries, citing the agreement reached between the European Union and Turkey, in which the latter agreed to to accommodate asylum seekers. who was deported from Greece in exchange for $ 6 billion in aid.

The report highlighted the growing sense of refugees being trapped in a trap between host countries trying to deport them from one side, and the perilous journey of return on the other, calling for tireless efforts by the international community to alleviate. the miserable conditions facing refugees on both sides of the border.

In view of the increasingly narrow options for refugees, the research report considers that stakeholders and other stakeholders should seek a lasting political solution that includes the safe return of refugees to their countries, with the necessary political and security guarantees.

9 solutions

Entitled “9 Solutions to Welcome Refugees”, Amnesty International presented a report on solutions to the global refugee crisis.

The International Human Rights Organization has summed up the means to resolve the crisis, including allowing people to seek asylum as a human right while caring for refugees by allowing groups of people to raise funds to send refugees to their bring countries and help them settle there.

Among the solutions is also family reunification through the permission of the governments of the countries to allow refugees to join their family members who are already settled abroad.

The report highlighted the possibility of granting health visas to refugees suffering from serious illnesses and in need of life-saving treatment, as well as providing refugee visas to start their studies in schools and universities in another country.

It is also possible to start projects for refugees, provide them with jobs to ensure a livelihood, help them to become independent and integrate into the new society, as well as to relocate those who are asylum seekers more than to speed up other people need. who has been subjected to torture.

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