Introducing a Rescue Package for Refugees

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Syria, and many other parts of the Middle East, are becoming an ever worsening crisis. The majority of refugees have fled to Jordan (followed by Turkey and Lebanon), so it is in these locations preparations can be made to leave refugee zones in a condition the Western middle class would find dignified in anticipation for a return to Syria in the future.

Passing the buck is not an option. If these displaced people are given stability (opportunities, skills, and a do-able strategy) they will remove the fuel of terror and work to extinguish humiliation and the loss of life, while building a resilient framework to uplift desperate populations.

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Azraq Refugee Camp, Jordan

The rebuilding can begin in Jordan (unless Turkey and Lebanon are found more favorable), establishing special economic zones neighboring or within the campsites. Development should begin, if sincerely humanitarian, with personal autonomy in mind, starting with the basics such as food, water, energy, and housing, built on the campsite itself, progressively moving unhoused refugees into apartments of a dignified standard.

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Each apartment complex could have air-to-water extraction and water tanks situated atop the structure. If energy is abundant enough, again with personal autonomy in mind, air conditioning window units could be reconfigured to extract water from the air. Reminiscent of the open source software and hardware movements, an open architecture and engineering alliance can facilitate maintenance of the apartment structure by the occupants themselves. Engineers without Boarders and related groups might be interested in such a project.

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Those who first build the facilities will be highly trained and skilled, but they will leave behind detailed instruction videos, along with tools and other materials. Ideally instructions communicate design principles to be applied experimentally when faced with unforseen challenges with the appropriate spaces and materials to meet such challenges.

Food can be grown indoors in the homes themselves with attractive and user friendly systems like that of the Grove aquaponics system.

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The Grove aquaponic system

So how might this utopian communist society be funded? By capitalist means, of course. The machines adequately enough to bring paid labor into question will not be for some decades to come, although the erosion of paid work in the form of stagnant wages for wealthy nations has occured since at least the 1980s, despite the increasing whims of consumer demand created by media and marketing forces that reinforce social pressure and the pursuits of status.

Tesla Gigafactory One. A model for manufacturing at great scale from raw material to finished product under one roof.

Once the post-refugee pilot project is named a success, factories can be built to duplicate the systems in perhaps a more compact way, learning from previous works. This includes the systems mentioned, such as water purification, food cultivation, solar, and the like. Former refugees will have the training to build and maintain their homes, therefore providing them the skills, including that of corporate management and political diplomacy, to replicate the same facilities where they are most needed, in other refugee sites and poorly developed countries.

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Array of Things pilot project in collaboration with the University of Chicago and City of Chicago.

Factories that make what remains in the prototype stage can be mass produced in the special economic zone. These items can include delivery drones and “Internet of Things” devices that complement the Internet with the capacity to not only monitor surrounding environmental conditions, but also provide a sort of backbone for the Internet itself by storing and transmitting data secured by means of encryption. Such devices can reduce or elimate the need for Internet service providers or cloud storage services.

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Masdar City, Abu Dahbi. A planned city with the goal of self-sustainability due to be completed between 2020–2025. Such a city may provide a template for refugee camp development. The city however is at a cost nearing $20 Billion for a resident population of 50,000 and 1500 businesses maintained by a periphery workforce of 60,000.

There are at least four major groups that need to collaborate: the national and local governments, its people, the migrants, and finally, the corporates. Ideally, each of these groups will more than mutually benefit or risk the existing Syrian calamities.

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First comes the telepresence, then comes the telerobotics, then comes the autobotics, then you win.

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