This is a brand-new residential area near Sochi, Russia:
The building near the stadium is a school, also brand-new. The residential area was built during the preparation for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
There are playgrounds for kids, too:
Altogether, this residential area could house several thousand families. But can you guess how many families are actually living here?
Seven. Just seven families, that’s all.
Say, wouldn’t it be a great idea to invite some Syrian refugees to live here? The climate in this region is very mild, so the refugees will not suffer from an unusually cold weather. This isn’t like dumping people in Siberia, or anything. Sochi is a resort zone with beautiful beaches. 5% of the population here is Muslim, there are already several mosques here. And in Russia at large, 15% of population is Muslim.
For obvious reasons, Putin is never going to allow any Muslim-bashing in Russia. Yesterday, by the way, he was at an opening of a new mosque in Moscow and made a speech about Islam being one of Russia’s traditional religions.
Given how hard Russia contributes to ensuring that the war in Syria rages on, wouldn’t it make sense for Russia to help out? The Russians keep whining about their enormous shortage of population for such a huge territory. Syrians could help turn these sad, abandoned buildings into a vibrant area.
I don’t see a downside to this idea. Nobody seems to be thinking in this direction right now but once an idea is expressed and begins to travel, who knows where it will end up and what influence it will have.