The nation’s most controversial teenage clock maker, Ahmed Mohamed, is now moving to Qatar with his family.
Mohamed, 14, made national headlines in September after he brought a homemade alarm clock to MacArthur High School, near Dallas. An English teacher thought that the clock looked like a bomb and alerted the principal and the authorities. Mohamed was handcuffed, detained, and questioned by the police, then suspended from school.
Countless news outlets and social media users were in an uproar with accusations of racial profiling. Google, Mark Zuckerberg, and President Obama reached out to Mohamed over social media encouraging him to keep building. Obama even invited Mohamed to the White House, a visit that Mohamed made on October 19. He also met leaders from Jordan, Turkey, and Sudan before meeting Obama.
Yesterday, with the controversy having died down, Mohamed and his family announced they were moving to Qatar so that he could attend the Young Innovators Program at the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, which is giving Mohamed a full scholarship.
“I really enjoyed my time at Education City, where I met other kids like me who are part of the Young Innovators Program,” Mohamed wrote in a public statement. “Qatar was a cool place to visit. 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.”
Although Mohamed has found something of a happy ending, his story has also been a hot issue for those who claim that he didn’t make a clock in the first place, but merely disassembled a store-bought clock and put it in a different casing. Thomas Talbot, an electrician, made a YouTube video days after the original incident that claims Mohamed is a fraud. The video gained instant traction–largely with conservatives angry that Obama had invited Mohamed to the White House–and has more than 1.1 million views to date. Still others accuse Mohamed of bringing the clock into school precisely because he knew the clock would incite panic. Some have even gone so far as to claim that the family planned the entire incident.
Whatever your take, it seems Mohamed and his family have found a way to move on. As Mohamed’s father told The Dallas Morning News, “We are going to move to a place where my kids can study and learn and all of them being accepted by that country.”