9 Ways the World Is Supporting Ahmed Mohamed
When 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed of Irving, Texas took a clock he had made himself to school, he didn’t expect to be led away in handcuffs. The young engineering and robotics enthusiast had his homemade tech confiscated by an English teacher. School officials and police officers, convinced it was a bomb, or at least a hoax bomb—despite the Muslim student’s protests that it was just a clock—led him away in handcuffs to a juvenile detention facility, where he was fingerprinted. Even after he had been released to his parents, he was suspended from school for three days.
While the police have dropped charges against him, many people were outraged by the fact that a talented, dedicated student was unduly punished for trying to show his teachers a piece of technology he had created outside of the classroom.
Scientists, politicians, and other STEM advocates have taken to Twitter to express their support and encouragement for his ingenuity. Here are nine ways the world is trying to let Ahmed know that his inventions are awesome, not criminal:
1. HE GOT INVITED TO THE WHITE HOUSE.
President Obama, who hosted the first White House Maker Faire last year, invited the 9th grader to come to the capital for Astronomy Night on October 19:
2. THE INTERNET’S FAVORITE ASTRONAUT INVITED HIM TO HIS SCIENCE SHOW.
Chris Hadfield, former International Space Station Commander, invited him to Toronto to see his science show, Generator. The local Four Seasons tweeted that he’ll have a free room if he goes.
He also got some online encouragement from other astronauts, like Scott Parazynski.
3. HE GOT A SWEET NEW LOGO.
One Twitter user made him this:
4. HE GOT INVITED TO FACEBOOK HQ.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posted that the young inventor could stop by the tech company any time.
5. NASA SCIENTISTS INVITED HIM TO VISIT.
The official @NASA Twitter account hasn't extended an invitation (though NASA HQ did mention him in a tweet), but individual NASA scientists working at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have let him know that he can come by for a tour:
Others have assured him that they'll want to interview him when he's on the job market in a few years:
6. HE GOT A SEAT AT THE GOOGLE SCIENCE FAIR.
This one's probably the most exciting shoutout for a young inventor—a seat at the Google Science Fair!
7. HE GOT INVITED TO VISIT BOX.
He got an offer to visit the $1.7 billion cloud storage company's headquarters in Silicon Valley from the CEO:
8. HE GOT SOME ENCOURAGEMENT FROM HILLARY.
Hillary Clinton tweeted her support for the young maker:
9. AND A SHOUTOUT FROM QUESTLOVE.
The Roots drummer tweeted his support for the teen:
Plenty of other people have tweeted their support for Ahmed, including MIT scientists, actresses, business moguls, and more. You can follow Ahmed's story at @IStandWithAhmed. Listen to him talk about his experiences in the video below: