Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old Texas boy who became a sort of celebrity after bringing a homemade clock to school, and subsequently getting arrested, is moving with his family to the Middle East nation of Qatar, The Washington Post is reporting.
In a statement released to the media on Tuesday, Mohamed’s family said that Ahmed has accepted a scholarship to study science with a prestigious program for young scientists in Qatar.
“After careful consideration of all the generous offers received, we would like to announce that we have accepted a kind offer from Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) for Ahmed to join the prestigious QF Young Innovators Program, which reflects the organization’s on-going dedication to empowering young people and fostering a culture of innovation and creativity.”
The announcement came less than 24 hours after Ahmed met with Barack Obama at the White House.
— Independent US (@IndyUSA) October 20, 2015
Ahmed Mohamed became an international story back in September, 2015. On September 14, the Irving, Texas teen was pulled out of school and ultimately taken to jail after he brought a device to school that administrators said resembled a bomb. Ahmed insisted it was a clock that he had cobbled together out of spare parts.
Irving police did not charge Ahmed with any crimes, although he was fingerprinted before being released to his parents. As photos of the terror-stricken teenager at a police station made the rounds on social media, Ahmed’s story ignited a fierce debate about racial profiling in America, and about Mohamed’s motives in bringing the clock to school.
— CNN (@CNN) October 19, 2015
His story caught the attention of several high-profile individuals, many of whom praised him for his passion for science, from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to Obama himself, who tweeted “cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House?”
Depending on whom you ask, Ahmed Mohamed’s arrest and suspension were either an egregious example of racial profiling run amok, or a reasonable and prudent response to a bomb hoax perpetrated by a kid with a history of discipline problems.
Writing in The Week, Ryan Cooper opined that Ahmed’s plight was based on racial profiling run amok, and alleged that the mayor of Irving himself has a tendency toward Islamaphobia.
“It’s a stark example of the fundamental uselessness of racial profiling as a strategy of fighting crime or terrorism. (The local mayor, by the way, is also an Islamophobic fruitcake.)”
Cooper was referring to a March 2015 incident where the mayor of Irving, Beth Van Duyne, accused local Muslim leaders of attempting to bring Sharia Law into Texas, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Breitbart writer Neil Munro, however, says that Ahmed’s “clock” was little more than a dangerous – and useless – jumble of wires that he built for the specific purpose of drawing attention to himself.
“If the box is opened, it creates a hazard because it contains an unshielded 120-volt transformer that could electrocute people who reached inside the box… The clock-in-a-box is still being held by the local police. They’ve repeatedly asked Mohamed’s family to pick it up, but the family has shown no desire to show the useless device to their audiences in New York and the Arab world.”
Regardless of Ahmed’s motives, it now seems that he and his family have decided that the U.S. is not longer the right place for them, and will pursue educational opportunities in the Middle East.
Ahmed Mohamed and his family intend to leave for Qatar next week.
[Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images]