“Clock kid” Ahmed Mohamed is moving to Qatar. Less than 24 hours after Mohamed went to the White House and met President Obama, his family decided to leave the country.
Ahmed Mohamed, 14, was arrested at his Texas school for bringing in a “homemade” clock that looked like a bomb. The story made national headlines, with some calling the arrest nothing more than Islamophobia, and others who maintained that the arrest was a rightful action taken to ensure the safety of the school.
The clock kid’s family issued a release about the decision to move to Qatar and leave America for good, on Tuesday.
“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.”
— TIME.com (@TIME) October 21, 2015
Anthony Bond, the founder of the NAACP chapter in Irving, Texas, and a friend of the Mohamed family, also addressed the Qatar relocation decision, MSN reports. Bond said the decision to make the lengthy move was made in just 24 hours — hours which the clock kid and his family had spent on a press tour in Washington, D.C.
“Everybody’s vilifying him, and he’s not a villain. He’s a 14 year old boy,” Bond added when referencing claims that taking the bomb-like clock to school was a plot to get attention by the family. “The whole world was concerned about this, and it’s impossible that anyone could have expected this international reaction.”
President Obama invited Ahmed Mohamed to visit him at the White House via Twitter. The president also shared his thoughts on the implications the arrest of the Muslim teen accused of building a bomb and bringing it to school. The clock kid was not charged with any crime after the Texas police officer determined the contraption he had taken to school was harmless, Fox News reports.
— Jessica Contrera (@mjcontrera) October 20, 2015
After the homemade clock story went viral, the equally shared hashtag, #IStandWithAhmed, was born. Some of the personalities who came out in support of Mohamed include Hillary Clinton, Mark Zuckerberg, and Google co-founder Sergey Brin. Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan, previously ran for the presidency in Sudan.
Ahmed was withdrawn from the Texas school, and the teen and his family began making the media rounds, meeting influential people, and touring science related facilities and events. The clock kid met with Omar al Bashir, the president of Sudan, went to the Google Science Fair, took a photo at the United Nations Summit with the queen of Jordan, and sat down with Doctor Oz.
Ahmed’s 19-year-old sister, Eyman Mohamed, said her younger sibling is under intense pressure that the family never imagined.
“It’s like now he’s motivated to work harder than ever before. Because people are going to be waiting to see what happened to that 14 year old kid,” Eyman said. “It’s been really hard. Everything happens for a reason, but there’s so much stuff being said that isn’t true. Qatar is in the Arab world, but it also feels like Texas. It’s like Texas in Qatar.”
The clock kid had this to say about moving to Qatar.
“I loved the city of Doha because it’s so modern. I saw so many amazing schools there, many of them campuses of famous American universities. The teachers were great. I think I will learn a lot and have fun too.”
What do you think about the clock kid moving to Qatar?
[Image via Shutterstock.com]