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Ahmed Mohamed’s clock: from arrest to social media hero

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14-year-old high school student Ahmed Mohamed was arrested in Texas this week after the clock he built was mistaken for a hoax bomb. The incident caused a cascade of outrage against authorities in his home town, as well as an outpouring of support from those in the tech community as well as from government officials, who applaud his love of engineering and robots. The young teenager is now being called the Muslim hero America has been waiting for.

  • James Vincent

    Oct 21, 2015

    James Vincent

    Ahmed Mohamed is moving to Qatar to go to school

    Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    Ahmed Mohamed, the schoolboy who was handcuffed and questioned by police after bringing a homemade clock to school, is moving to Qatar with his family. Mohamed has accepted a full scholarship from the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development, where he will join its Young Innovators Program in Doha. The 14-year-old visited the White House Monday evening to take part in an astronomy night hosted by President Barack Obama, with his family announcing their decision to leave America on Tuesday.

    "Our family has been overwhelmed by the many offers of support we have received since the unfortunate incident of Ahmed's arrest," said the family in a press release. "From the White House to Sudan, to Mecca, we have been welcomed by a variety of individuals, businesses, and educational institutions."

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  • James Vincent

    Sep 22, 2015

    James Vincent

    Ahmed Mohamed hangs out with Sergey Brin at Google Science Fair

    Wrongly arrested schoolboy Ahmed Mohamed has continued his victory lap of nerd glory with a visit to the annual Google Science Fair. Mohamed was invited to the event last week by Google, and according to a report from USA Today, received a warm welcome, touring the booths and taking pictures with finalists. "We learned about you in school!" one student from California told Mohamed, who even got a chance to hang out with Google's co-founder Sergey Brin.

    In a blog post written by Mariette DiChristina, editor-in-chief at the Scientific American and head judge at the fair, Mohamed's attendance was noted as symbolic of the need to support and encourage young people. "We’re especially glad that Ahmed Mohamed — the 14-year-old clock maker from Texas — took us up on our invite to attend this year’s event," wrote DiChristina. "Curious young scientists, inventors, and builders like him should be encouraged and empowered."

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  • James Vincent

    Sep 21, 2015

    James Vincent

    Richard Dawkins calling Ahmed Mohamed a fraud is everything wrong with Richard Dawkins

    Don Arnold/Getty Images

    Ignoring the fact that it's fine to say you "made" something even if you didn't smelt all the original materials (would you tell a child off for saying they made you a cake using ready-made cake mix?), Dawkins is ignoring the wider context of the situation. Mohamed's story has triggered important conversations about Islamophobia in the US and the institutional prejudice faced by people of color (especially young people of color), but instead, Dawkins is annoyed that a young boy might be getting credit and attention for something he didn't do. He doesn't sound like a scientist or a respected intellectual, but a bratty kid in Mohamed's class.

    Unfortunately, this is just par for the course when it comes to Dawkins on Twitter, where his inability to see the bigger picture (or just read his own tweets aloud before he posts them) have turned him into a caricature. He doesn't seem to understand the effect of his words, and it'd be sad to see if his remarks weren't so frequently racist or sexist.

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  • Casey Newton

    Sep 16, 2015

    Casey Newton

    Ahmed Mohamed says he's going to the White House — and then he's transferring schools

    Two days after his arrest for bringing a homemade clock to school, Ahmed Mohamed appeared at a press conference today to address his supporters. The 14-year-old student at MacArthur High School in Irving, TX, thanked his many fans on social media, who include Mark Zuckerberg, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, among many others. At his press conference, Ahmed said he planned to take the president up on his offer to visit him at the White House — and said he also plans to transfer to another school.

    Ahmed looked upbeat during his roughly 6-minute appearance, smiling as he recounted the absurd series of events that led him to his arrest. Police have decided not to press charges after determining the clock was not a bomb, as they had originally assumed. But he remains suspended until Thursday for — again — bringing a homemade clock to school. Asked about his other inventions, he said he had previously built a pair of Bluetooth speakers ("but they're gone now; I kind of messed up with them") and said he was currently patenting an invention that harnesses power through neodymium magnets.

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  • Nick Statt

    Sep 16, 2015

    Nick Statt

    Mark Zuckerberg invites Ahmed Mohamed to visit Facebook


    Ahmed Mohamed is going to have a busy couple of weeks. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has joined the list of high-profile names showing support by extending an invite to meet the 14-year-old Irving, Texas student arrested Monday for bringing a clock to school.

    "Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed," Zuckerberg wrote on his personal Facebook page shortly after 1:30PM. "Ahmed, if you ever want to come by Facebook, I'd love to meet you." President Barack Obama this morning invited Mohamed to the White House in a tweet, while Hilary Clinton tweeted support for Mohamed while implicitly saying the boy's arrest was a product of Islamophobia.

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  • Kwame Opam

    Sep 16, 2015

    Kwame Opam

    Texas principal sends awful letter to parents after Ahmed Mohamed was wrongfully arrested

    Fourteen-year-old Texas student Ahmed Mohamed was arrested yesterday for bringing a clock to school, after his teacher and police confused it for a bomb. While charges were eventually dropped, the school district issued a memo to parents stating that it succeeded in its goal of keeping students safe. That memo fails to acknowledge that it confused an incident ultimately fueled by Islamophobia for a legitimate one, instead showing the school trying to hide behind the reasonable aim of taking school security seriously.

    In a memo sent to parents, MacArthur High School principal Dan Cummings states that the local police responded to a suspicious-looking item on campus. That item turned out to be a clock Mohamed invented for class. Despite the confusion and subsequent media fiasco, parents are now urged to take this opportunity to go over the Student Code of Conduct, as bringing dangerous items to school is strictly prohibited.

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  • Sep 16, 2015

    Colin Lecher

    Ahmed Mohamed won't be charged for bringing homemade clock to school

    Following news that 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school, there's been an outpouring of support for the Texas student. Police, at first, kept the option open to charge Mohamed with making a "hoax bomb," but at a press conference today announced that "the case is considered closed."

    According to The Dallas Morning News, who first broke the story, Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd told a gathering at a press conference that officials were "confident it's not an explosive device." (In an unfortunately worded moment, he reportedly also said there was "no evidence that there was an intention to create alarm.") According to Boyd, it was a "naive accident." Boyd, according to the Morning News, also denied that race was a factor in the arrest, saying "the reaction would have been the same regardless" of color of the student's skin

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  • Jacob Kastrenakes

    Sep 16, 2015

    Jacob Kastrenakes

    Obama invites student arrested over homemade clock to the White House

    Steve Pope/Getty Images

    Hillary Clinton tweeted support for Mohamed as well. In a tweet, her campaign essentially condemned the arrest as Islamophobic, albeit with far less explicit language. "Assumptions and fear don't keep us safe — they hold us back," the tweet reads. "Ahmed, stay curious and keep building." Though the tweet wasn't signed by Clinton herself, it comes through her campaign account.

    As for the Republican response? Well, there hasn't been any, but presidential candidate Ted Cruz did release an ad stoking fear in "radical Islamic terrorism." Cruz is currently a senator for Texas, where Mohamed goes to school.

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  • Rich McCormick

    Sep 16, 2015

    Rich McCormick

    14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed arrested for bringing homemade clock to school

    Police in Texas have arrested a 14-year-old boy for building a clock. Ahmed Mohamed, who lives in Irving and has a keen interest in robotics and engineering, put the device together on Sunday night. When he took it to school the next day, he was pulled out of class, interviewed by police officers, and taken in handcuffs to juvenile detention, after being told by teachers that his creation looked like a bomb.

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