Egyptian tycoon welcomes contributions for ‘refugee island’

Cairo, Sep 7 (IANS) Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris on Monday announced that he welcomed volunteers and their contributions for an island shelter he is proposing to create to house refugees.

The tycoon made headlines around the globe last week when he proposed on Twitter to buy an island from Greece or Italy in order to shelter migrants fleeing Syria and other countries, Al Ahram news reported.

“Everyone who proposed to volunteer or help in creating #aylanISLAND please email your proposed contribution to,” Sawiris tweeted on Monday.

Sawiris named the proposed island “Aylan” after the three-year-old Syrian toddler, Aylan Kurdi, who drowned in the sea off Turkey last week while his family were attempting to reach Europe.

According to Sawiris, the island would host refugees until resolutions are reached in their home countries.

Confirming that his offer is serious, Sawiris said that he would address the prime ministers of Italy and Greece.

In 2014, Naguib Sawiris was listed as the third wealthiest man in Egypt, with a fortune of $2.8 billion, up from $2.5 billion in 2013.

He is the 609th richest person in the world and the 11th richest in Africa.


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