In view of the plight of refugees fleeing their violence-hit countries, Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris has offered to buy an island in the Mediterranean from Greece or Italy and make it a temporary home for the migrants.
More than 2,300 people, mostly Syrians, have died this year while attempting to migrate to Europe across the Mediterranean sea, and the Egyptian said it is time we treat them like human beings and not "cattle".
Sawiris announced his idea on Twitter and said that while it may be "crazy", it could offer the refugees a temporary shelter where they can take up jobs in building their "new country".
"Greece or Italy sell me an island, I'll call its independence and host the migrants and provide jobs for them building their new country," he tweeted.
The Egyptian billionaire, a telecom tycoon, said the idea is feasible and it would cost about $10 million to $100 million to buy one of the islands that lie off Greece and Italy.
Greece or Italy sell me an island,ill call its independence and host the migrants and provide jobs for them building their new country
— Naguib Sawiris (@NaguibSawiris) September 1, 2015
Crazy idea .. Maybe but at least temporary until they can return to their countries ??!! — Naguib Sawiris (@NaguibSawiris) September 1, 2015
"You have dozens of islands which are deserted and could accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees.. (they can be) temporary shelters to house the people, then you start employing the people to build housing, schools, universities, hospitals," Naguib Sawiris told AFP.
"And if things improve, whoever wants to go back (to their homeland) goes back," he added.
"The way they are being treated now, they are being treated like cattle," he said.
Sawiris has a fortune of $2.8 billion as of 2014, and is the 11th richest person in Africa, according to Egypt's Ahram Online news portal. He had reportedly help develop El Gouna, which was a village into a resort on the Red Sea.
The refugee crisis sent shockwaves around the world after photos of a Syrian boy found dead on Turkish beach highlighted the dangers that families take to escape escalating conflict in their homeland.
Aylan Kurdi, 3, died along with his brother and mother while trying to get to Greece.