Fourteen-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was arrested Monday at his Texas high school after bringing a homemade clock to class that his teacher mistook for a bomb.
His teacher thought the clock, which included a digital display, was a bomb (here’s what it looks like). Soon the police were called, and this is how Ahmed’s big day ended:
I expect they will have more to say tomorrow, but Ahmed’s sister asked me to share this photo. A NASA shirt! pic.twitter.com/nR4gt992gB
— Anil Dash (@anildash) September 16, 2015
“I felt like I was a criminal, I felt like I was a terrorist, like all the names I was called,” Ahmed said of the arrest to MSNBC, going on to explain that he had also been called a “bomb maker” by kids at his school in the past. While this story may have a sad beginning, it definitely has a happy ending. Once word of the boy’s arrest started to spread on social media, outrage grew and the hashtag #IStandwithAhmed began trending across the U.S. Soon, news of the incident reached all the way up to the White House, and the president himself invited Ahmed over to show off his “cool clock.”
Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great. — President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
Assumptions and fear don’t keep us safe—they hold us back. Ahmed, stay curious and keep building. https://t.co/ywrlHUw3g1
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 16, 2015
Facebook’s creator Mark Zuckerburg, who knows a thing or two about innovation, also invited Ahmed down to the social media giant’s HQ.
NASA, of course, was quick to tweet out its support:
— NASA (@NASA) September 16, 2015
The 14-year-old even got himself a job offer for the future:
It wasn’t all one-sided favours though. Ahmed’s family later demonstrated how humble they really are by bringing out pizza to the hordes of reporters camped outside their home:
Mohamed Ahmed’s family brings pizza to media outside of home. This family….. pic.twitter.com/iRf73vnEvU
— Priya Desai (@priyadesai) September 17, 2015
Soon, even Canadians were talking about Ahmed’s story, and some notable figures reached out:
While Ahmed hasn’t yet responded to Hadfield’s invitation, he’ll definitely have a nice place to stay while he’s in Toronto if he says yes:
— Four Seasons Toronto (@FSToronto) September 16, 2015
Plus, it looks like he’ll have lots of friends no matter where in the world he chooses to go:
— Hamoudi ツ (@Ahmed_AK14) September 16, 2015
In case you’re wondering, Ahmed is now considering changing schools (probably for the best), but he definitely doesn’t seem phased by what he’s been through over the past couple of days.
— Elizabeth Dinh (@ElizabethCBS11) September 17, 2015
Keep on creating, Ahmed!