Clock-making teen Ahmed Mohamed met Obama, heads to Qatar on scholarship

You may remember the story of Ahmed Mohamed, the 14 year-old Texas student who was handcuffed, arrested and placed in custody after bringing a homemade clock to school. Ahmed informed his teacher that his invention was merely a clock, but the teacher grew suspicious, police were called and the clock was confiscated.

Following his arrest, Ahmed and his family spoke openly to the press about the prejudice faced by their son, a Muslim with a Sudanese background. Organizations and high profile people rallied for Ahmed, and he took advantage of some of their offers. Ahmed attended the Google science fair, went to The Social Good Summit and made an appearance on Dr. Oz. He met leaders like Queen Rania of Jordan, Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoğlu and finally President Obama!

Ahmed was invited to attend astronomy night at the White House Monday night, where he personally met the President. Press Secretary Josh Earnest initially downplayed the possibility of Obama having time to meet the teen, saying “I don’t believe that the president will have an opportunity to meet one on one with Ahmed Mohamed” and citing the number of people who would be present for the event. It happened anyway! Ahmed tweeted a photo where he’s embracing Obama. (Ahmed wasn’t able to bring his clock to show Obama as he’s been away from home.)

What’s more is that Ahmed has accepted one of the many scholarship offers he’s received. He’s heading to Qatar to attend the Qatar Foundation’s Young Innovators Program. His family made the announcement:

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 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.

[Via US Magazine]

Ahmed’s family traveled to Qatar and toured the school before making this important decision for his future. This is such a heartwarming story and I love to hear young scientists being celebrated. Speaking of young people, Michelle Obama has announced an initiative for celebrities to honor “kids who are working hard and achieving their goals.” She hopes to upend the culture of celebrity. She added “we want to make room for their stories… so much of our national conversation is focused on celebrities, their break ups and hairstyles.” I love this idea and hope to see celebrities start to highlight high achieving young people.

Here’s Potus’s announcement:

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109 Responses to “Clock-making teen Ahmed Mohamed met Obama, heads to Qatar on scholarship”

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  1. tracking says:

    Poor kid, glad his ordeal has resulted in good things for him.

  2. melodycalder says:

    Why did I read on several sites yesterday that the reason why the school behaved that way is because his sister had been previously suspended for threatening to blow up the school? Does anyone know if this is true? I didn’t see official reports just lots and lots of people saying it?

    • MexicanMonkey says:

      I’m gonna take a wild guess and see that’s a bunch of made up crap. If that was true I’m sure it would have been the first thing the school would have mentioned when all this happened.

    • EN says:

      No, because they are just bigots. American Bible Belt is something you have to experience to believe it. It is like you were transported 300 years ago, only the roads and houses are nicer and there is electricity and cars.

      • Twinkie says:

        You nailed it! I tried explaining this to my mother who has lived in California for 40 years after I lived in Texas and some other Bible Belt states for a number of years. She truly didn’t understand and thought I was over exaggerating. Ha! Jokes on her as she and her husband retired and moved to a Bible Belt state and now she has to live with the madness.

    • doofus says:

      because bigots need to justify their hate and bigotry?…even if the “justification” is a lie. it’s how they work…if the truth doesn’t support your hatefulness, make something up.

    • Laura says:

      My hubby just did a little bit of research on that. He read that the sister said in an interview that someone at her school that didn’t like her reported that she brought in a bomb to get her suspended. The sister never did anything but she was suspended. The sister was unable to fight against the charges and she was very happy that people were standing up for her brother. It sounds like those websites yesterday just picked up part of the story and added flames to their racist fires against Muslims in the US. It’s so very sad.

    • Caro says:


      Yea, the despicable rightwing racist bullying of this bright American boy has been scary and off the charts (It’s like what they did to Trayvon, character assassinated a dead boy, thankfully Ahmed is alive).

      So yeah..I wouldn’t believe anything I read that wasn’t from a legit non-racist news source, I.e., NOT fox or breitbart.

      Where are the links/sources? <.ETA scratch that. Thanks @Laura for the clarification. I knew it had to be something along those lines. So the sister has been bullied and attacked for her religion too, and years later they try to insinuate their own bullying smears were true. Ugh. That school is awful

    • Lucrezia says:

      I’m glad someone else asked, because I also saw a sudden surge of nasty stories about Ahmed and his family recently. I wasn’t sure if I’d somehow missed some uncovered backstory or what the heck was going on.

      If they’re not being covered by main-stream media, I’ll go ahead and file them under “crazy racist conspiracy theories”.

      It was really weird how they suddenly sprang up. Normally you can almost “see” facts twisting into rumours as they get re-told over and over and slightly twisted each time. This BS must’ve been percolating on extreme right-wing sites (that I don’t visit), and suddenly spread to more general sites because there was nothing negative about this kid and then all of a sudden there were 5 fully-fledged nasty rumours. Seemed to come from nowhere.

      • Katy says:

        I live in Fort Worth, TX and first I want to say this has infuriated me and my husband at how the school AND police handled this!!!! I was sick at my stomach and heartbroken at what Ahmed must have gone through! I’ve lived in Texas all of my life and I have been around many years, and I can honestly say it did not used to be this bad. Several years ago we actually had a woman, Democrat governor! That being said, the local news has reported this story and I think many, many local people were outraged at how he was treated. The school continues to put out a statement that they would NOT apologize for their actions and “they could say more if they got a release to do so from Ahmed’s family to speak out”. If I had a child in the Irving school district I would pull them out immediately!! The school is trying to throw out smoke and mirrors to deflect their ignorance. I was so glad, but really sad at the same time that once again America will miss out on nurturing a remarkable young mind. 🙁

  3. MexicanMonkey says:

    The contrast between his smile in these photos and the heartbroken look on his face when he was arrested is astounding!
    I’m do glad something good came out of this situation.

  4. Shambles says:

    Amazing. Genuine young man with a heart warming smile. He deserves all the good things coming his way. Dream on and build on, Ahmed, you are our future!

  5. Frank says:

    I wander how the teacher feels now

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Bitter and embarrassed?

    • Nev says:

      Like a right jackass.

    • db says:

      I hope he feels ok, because he did the right thing. Teachers are in a very tough position – not only are they told “if you see something, say something,” but we also really *do* live in an era of increasing violence and mayhem in schools. So while he was mistaken in thinking Ahmed made a bomb, I can’t say he was wrong in acting on his concerns. I don’t think it’s right or fair to task school teachers and authorities with protecting our kids and then vilify them if they make a bad call.

      • vauvert says:

        But once it was obvious that it was not a bomb (evidenced by the fact that they bomb squad wasn’t called, the school was not evacuated) why did they need to drag a kid in cuffs to be interrogated by a bunch of cops with no attorney or parent present?? How do you justify that?

      • Caro says:



        @DB probably won’t be back, but I was about to say same. They’ve admitted that early on they thought it only a “hoax bomb.” So they took it upon themselves to scare the bejesus out of this kid, cuff him and interrogate him for hours minus his parents. By the way, thats illegal.

        What’s more you’ve already heard that he showed it to his teacher first who made the mistake of stupidly advising him to be all cloak and dagger about it.

        A pencil case clock with an electrical cord.

      • lucy2 says:

        I agree that teachers are in a tough spot these days and do need to be very concerned about safety, but this whole situation was just weird. If the teacher truly thought it was a bomb, why wasn’t the school evacuated and the bomb squad called? Instead they just arrested the kid?

      • db says:

        Caro, Vauvert – We live in a climate of violence and paranoia. What happened to Ahmed was nuts, but not that unusual when you look at the broader picture. Numerous instances of students being arrested, detained, suspended. That’s why I brought up Kiera Wilmot.

        Anyway I’m happy for Ahmed and his family, they’ll be happier in Qatar.

      • Carole says:

        But would the teacher have thought that way if it was a white kid at a science fair? I think we know the answer to that.

      • doofus says:

        the diff between the two, db, is that Wilmot DID create an actual explosive device, which she DID then detonate at school. and this was NOT from an assignment that a teacher gave out.

        an explosive device detonated on school property vs. a kid who made a clock (that was quickly determined to NOT be any kind of explosive device as evidenced by no evacuation and no call to the bomb squad).

        different situations.

      • Samtha says:

        With all the school shootings and violence, the teacher absolutely did the right thing. It’s the school administrators and police who handled things poorly.

      • Original T.C. says:

        I actually think it’s depressing that we are going to lose out on the brains and skills of an intelligent young man. We could be a future NASA astronaut, a brilliant scientist or doctor coming up with advances in the U.S. or a future science teacher or professor. We desperately need more kids going into the sciences for our future instead we are letting this kid go and going to hire foreign scientists and doctors. He could be a source of motivation to many young people into check out science. I am very alarmed that people are so quick to say “yeh, go to Qatar. You will be happier there”. He was happy here and should be supported here!

    • jugstorecowboy says:

      It’s nice to read the comments on this site! The comments in my local paper are filled with anti-Muslim vitriol. I sadly bet the teacher is with them. The anti-Muslim sentiment in too-many in this country is disgusting.

      • laurie says:

        Yes!!! I started reading some of the comments on the MSM site and was so disgusted I had to stop. The lies, vitriol and outright racism is so depressing. IMO he and his family will be a lot happier in Qatar.

    • noway says:

      It’s not the teacher’s fault, but the principal and police. He first showed it to the science teacher and the teacher liked it, but it wasn’t a school project so the teacher said to make sure he put it away in other classes. Then an English teacher had it go off in her class, she looked at it and didn’t know what it was. She told the principal as she was supposed to, because any suspicious package needs to be looked at, and then the principal and especially the police behaved terribly and not very smart either. They didn’t allow him to call his parents, and they cuffed him in front of other children since he wasn’t being that talkative, probably because he was scared out of his wits as anyone would be.

      I couldn’t understand at first how a Science teacher didn’t know it was a clock, as you would also have a poor teacher issue too. Then I found out it was the English teacher who didn’t know what it was, and that made a bit more sense as I could see if a kid just had that in their backpack you would have to turn that in to the administration. Now if it just stopped with the kid being questioned at the office, that would have been appropriate, because it did look suspicious. It didn’t and the police especially look like idiots how did they not know what was?

  6. Mylene - Montreal says:

    The Kardashian need to listen michelle obama discours

  7. Nev says:

    Peace out bitches!!!!

  8. Mrs Fonzieface says:

    I live in Qatar and because I’m very proud of Ahmed I do wonder if a move to this country is right for him and his family. All that glitters isn’t gold in Qatar and I would hate for such a promising young man to be disappointed.

    • BearcatLawyer says:

      I was thinking the same thing. What will life be like for his sister? And how will they adjust to living in a less free society (less free compared to the U.S.)?

      As an aside, I find it hard to believe he could not find a similar educational experience in the U.S. This reeks of a publicity ploy by the Qatari government. Does Ahmed realize he is likely being used to garner attention for Qatar and Education City?

      • Ripley says:

        I, too, live in Qatar (and work in Education City) and agree. First thought was, “It’s good to be in Qatar… When you’re Qatari.”

        Honestly though there is such a focus on the youth, science and education I don’t think it will be a poor experience for him or his family.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I feel that way about the U.S. sometimes. Once I saw a documentary about some African villagers who were being moved to the U.S. For their safety. A little boy said he was so excited to move to America where everyone was free and people wouldn’t judge him by the color of his skin. It broke my heart. I was so afraid for him.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Oh that’s a gut punch, damn.

        Just yesterday I watched a video about black people in Japan and how race relations were somewhat better than they expected (I have to admit a relief and surprise to me) but how overall they feel safer because no ones going to just shoot them and claim they were guilty of something they can’t defend.

    • Jayna says:

      I agree.

    • EN says:

      My fear is that there will be attempts to radicalize him there. I don’t think it is a good thing. They could move within the US, or maybe the UK or Scandinavian countries, there are many Muslims there.

      But this is the flow of things – intolerant people create enemies with their intolerance and then turn around and say – see, I told you he/ she weren’t up to no good.

      It happens on the global scale too, where the whole nationalities/ ethnicities are marginalized.

      • Alex says:

        I had this exact conversation yesterday with someone about how intolerance pushes people to a self-fulfilling prophecy.
        Jail minorities at higher rates= POC believing all they have in life is a possible jail sentence…thus turn to a life of crime
        Call a girl a sl*t= she may believe that’s all she’s good for and embody that label
        Treat minorities and immigrants like the enemy= breed resentment in people who feel out of place in their home country and you find yourself with an anti-American sentiment

        Sometimes we breed our own enemies.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        That’s absolutely brilliant and true Alex.

  9. db says:

    I hope Kiera Wilmot, another student arrested, in 2014, at school for a science project, gets some attention.

    • Caro says:

      Wilmot got enough attention for you to know who he is.

      • Delta Juliet says:

        I have no idea who he is.

      • db says:

        *She*, @Caro, she 🙂

      • Lucrezia says:

        Basic story: she was doing a science experiment, it went wrong and “exploded” (as in blew off a bottle cap and created some smoke) and she was arrested and charged with setting off an explosive on school grounds – a felony. Charges were dismissed, but apparently she’s having some trouble getting the arrest taken off her record.

        That’s a big problem, since you’re often asked about arrests in job interviews, not just convictions. She’s obviously got decent excuse/story, but to be brutally honest, if I was hiring, I’d probably just move on to the next candidate – not worth the hassle to check up on her story. Easier to just go: “felony arrest? Nope. Next.”

      • doofus says:

        Lucrezia…just one correction…

        nothing “went wrong”…it was supposed to detonate exactly as it did. she had seen this “experiment” on youtube (wasn’t assigned by a teacher) and wanted to “see what would happen” (her words). so, while it was a small explosion and no one was hurt and no property was damaged…she set out to make an explosion and did so.

        perhaps her being charged with a felony was excessive, but she did violate school policy so the expulsion was justified.

      • Lucrezia says:

        Ah, thanks for the correction doofus.

        A suspension would’ve been perfectly fine, imo. Part of “let’s see what happens” is learning that there will be consequences for unsafe “research”.

        Expulsion is something I think should be kept as an absolute last resort, for kids who are incorrigible … but different areas have different rules, so I can accept it.

        The felony arrest is what I have a problem with, because it could have a severe impact on her future. It’s a consequence that doesn’t seem fair for a comparatively minor rule-breaking that didn’t hurt anyone or anything.

      • doofus says:

        yeah, I only meant “justified” in the sense of that particular school’s policy.

        I think expulsion was probably too far…I could see if it were a perpetually trouble-making kid who finally went to far and brought a “bomb” to school but this was, from all reports, a good kid who made a pretty dumb decision. Suspension would have probably been plenty. and I agree on the felony charge, that was DEF too far.

    • doofus says:

      she did get attention. it was all over the news when it happened.

      the reason the outrage wasn’t as much was because (as stated above) she DID create an explosive device and detonated it on school property.

      perhaps no one was in danger, but she DETONATED AN EXPLOSIVE DEVICE ON SCHOOL PROPERTY.

      totally different situations. you can argue that her punishment was excessive, but she violated school policy; Ahmed did not.

      • db says:

        She and Ahmed both brought in projects they created on their own initiative. The “explosive device” she “detonated” amounted to the top popping off of the water bottle and the contents smoking. Even the principal of the school defended her as a good student.
        Anyway I just found this – it appears this is all water under bridge

      • doofus says:

        “She and Ahmed both brought in projects they created on their own initiative.”

        yup, and no one is saying differently. the difference I pointed out was that Ahmed’s was a clock and his project did not violate school policy; Wilmot’s was built as and functioned/executed as an explosive device. yeah, it was a minor explosion and no one was hurt and no property was damaged…but it was STILL an explosive device that was designed as such and detonated on school property. and that violated school policy.

  10. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    Good for him. Pick the best possible roads to the future you deserve Ahmed, sad that the actions of a few devastated you but I’m happy that others were able to show you that many of us are trying to stop the pattern of ignorance and xenophobia that harms our chances for success and growth.

    Good luck.

    I also really love Michelle Obama’s idea. It’d also be great to show these kids that while their favorite celebs are deified and put in the spotlight many of them struggle with basic science, math, and logic and have the intelligence of 8th graders at 40. Might help put an end to some of this ridiculous celeb worship.

  11. Mia4s says:

    Qatar huh? Maybe he can build another clock so the country will know to give it’s slave…sorry…migrant workers time off? Maybe he can devise a way for them to build World Cup stadiums without dozens dying?

    Look I wish the kid well…but Qatar? Damn. In North America even those discriminated against are among the privileged in relation to much of the rest of the world. Sobering thought.

    • Qatar2 says:

      I understand that there is a lot of media coverage as of late around the plight of migrant workers in Qatar, and I acknowledge that there are human rights violations happening, but I urge you to consider how the media has manipulated and sensationalized what gets reported. There were very incorrect and misleading reports in the UK media in particular a few months back which implied that there were thousands of deaths already, associated with the Qatar 2022 facilities. That claim is nothing short of ridiculous. Some migrants live in less than ideal conditions, and yes, there are unscrupulous subcontractors that basically do create a situation of indentured labour for some of these poor men, but the government is making reforms to the sponsorship system that allows some human rights violations to occur and there is progress happening.

      • Nic919 says:

        So what is the actual number of deaths then and has any international organization been able to investigate? This is not simply media manipulation. There is a serious issue regarding the treatment of migrants not only in Qatar but UAE and elsewhere in Gulf States.

      • Qatar2 says:

        There are Amnesty International reports that are quite accurate. I just want to reiterate: human rights violations abound, but mass workers dying daily, which is what is being suggested or implied – simply not the reality.

        Here is a good link:

        But here is why I advocate for reading carefully and critically. The report screams in bold letters that “441 migrants from India and Nepal died in 2014”. A closer look at the footnote reveals this to be “According to official statistics of
        the governments of Nepal and India obtained by Amnesty International. According to these figures, 279 Indian migrant workers and 162 Nepali migrant workers died in Qatar in 2014. These figures are of migrant worker deaths from all causes, including fatalities not directly related to labour conditions”.

        Natural deaths and road traffic accidents are included and the latter is most likely the main contributor to the 441, as Qatar RTA death rate per capita is off the charts.

  12. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    All I can think of is how badly Texas is struggling with education and how they let one of their young promising minds slip away because of ignorance.

    Meanwhile I’m sure in a year some moron will host another ‘Draw Muhammad’ contest that will be supported and encouraged while they change the textbooks to make slaves into workers and rape victims into non-compliant sexual partners.

    • Marty says:

      I can tell you as someone who lives in Texas, it’s getting infuriating to live here. Now with what Abbott has done to Planned Parenthood my family and I are seriously considering moving.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Godspeed Marty. I think my head would explode immediately on landing if I ever visited.

        It feels like if you’re not touting the Red-White-and Blue line that Texas has no problem discriminating, talking down to you, and controlling your life.

        It is absolutely repulsive what they’re doing to Planned Parenthood without a shred of conclusice evidence to even back it up.

  13. K says:

    This is very nice to see such a positive end, hope he didn’t feel he had to leave America for any opportunity, and that this Quatar was just that amazing.

    Love what Mrs. Obama wants to do, I feel like a lot of young people are doing great things and they are so over shadowed with the idea the vapid constant selfie taking celebrity obsessed idea that it isn’t accurate. My interns (what I have to go on) have been just fantastic and ambitious, not to mention politically aware and interested. I mean they know all the celebrity gossip and insta everything but they aren’t vapid or lazy they have great things to offer.

  14. M.A.F. says:

    Pretty sad that the family feels the need to move out of country. But Qatar? I don’t think that country is as opened minded as the family thinks it might be.

    • Caro says:

      So Ahmed is being bullied (again) for accepting a free ride in a prestigious science academy that employs and encourages some of the best innovators in the world. In a country where his religion won’t be demeaned and he made less safe, and you’re objecting? Why? We did this – we ran him off with our racist bullying rightwing attacks and sneers.

      By the way, why is it ok for extremely wealthy white bread American tv stars to accept $5 million contracts to endorse luxury suite travel TO Muslim countries, but middle class American kid Ahmed gets the side-eye for accepting their scholarships?


  15. Sara says:

    Qatar? Seriously? Too bad his parents can’t tell that they’re obviously being used as pawns by the Qatari government. Maybe Ahmed can invent a way to keep even more slave labor around.

  16. nicegirl says:

    Best wishes to young Ahmed and his family. It is a blessing to a have a child who craves education.

  17. vauvert says:

    Or maybe the fact that young smart kids like him will live and work in Qatar is a sign of good things to come. I wish he’d stay in North America too, but some of the vile things being said online make me sick. If the family decided that out of all the opportunities recently presented, this is the best for them and their son… Why not?

  18. Talie says:

    After reading actual facts and not just kooky Breitbart stories…this whole incident feels like a huge hoax. It makes sense why they took off for Qatar instead of sticking around in the US. The media here was starting to turn.

    • Nic919 says:

      I have read as well that the invention was basically a disassembled clock in a briefcase. While arresting the kid was wrong, there seems to be more and more fishiness coming out about the kid’s father and the story itself.

      • Qatar2 says:

        I agree with this. I think it will come out that it was all a ploy by the parents to create a media poopstorm, knowing that they could claim their son was bullied and targeted for being Muslim. I am Muslim myself, so I am not being a bigot….it just seems a little too convenient how it all unfolded and was perhaps a means to use the anti-Islamic sentiment in their favour. Grifters gonna grift.

        It is a shame that Qatar Foundation fell for the ploy.

      • Caro says:


      • Caro says:

        Sorry for the dupe..


        Wow. That’s some kind of amazing telepathic ploy-making his parents conceived. Not only are you saying they would have had to know and been able to predict with perfect accuracy the behavior of the so-called educators at his school, but also the behavior of law enforcement. You’re saying the parents knew racist knee jerk America would definitely be racist and definitely try to jack up their son…you say the parents were actually COUNTING on that.

        You’re also saying Ahmed wasn’t really traumatized. So Ahmed was ‘acting,’ his fear? He wasn’t really crying?

        Excuse me but…

        Once again this sounds like a familiar trope. Young children of color aren’t permitted to be kids. They’re super humans. They don’t feel fear, they don’t get scared, they plot and scheme and lie. They run towards guns and bullets and not away. They don’t try to escape creepy strangers following them home on dark rainy nights, they look to confront their stalkers.

        They’re something other than human. They’re not like us.

        In some minds: Ahmed’s not a boy he’s a cunning liar acting in cahoots with his parents who laughed at the handcuffs and hours long interrogation by whites who disdain him, and his religion and don’t think he matters.

        Real Talk: Ahmed and his family live in a country where we’ve seen young men (and women) of color die on their way to custody and sometimes in custody – yet you think his parents would have let ‘Allah take the wheel,’ conceived their ‘ploy,’ and just hoped their son would be reviled in the media, attacked or harmed…enough…so that people would notice?

        Interesting that your theory sounds like it could have been conceived on breitbart or Fox news. (I’m sure they’d get a ‘Muslim,’ to spin it, much like they get black tea party people to malign dead black kids killed for walking home while black. Everyone has their price.)

        That said…here’s the problem with YOUR theory: it all easily falls apart almost immediately if *just one decent person does the right thing.*

        One teacher or principal *standing up for Ahmed* ruins the plot, doesn’t it….??

        One person coming to his aid beforehand means Ahmed’s cunning family (according to YOU..yea yea I know..but you’re a Muslim…riiiight) doesn’t get their Quatar and Microsoft trip!


        THAT is a lousy way to ‘ploy.’

        Unless of course, you’re almost 100% sure of how awful Americans are.

        Are you? I think we’re MUCH better than that.

      • Naya says:

        @Qatar2 who wrote “I am Muslim too so I am not a bigot”.

        Your troll butt must be extra greased up today if you managed to slip past the troll net. Who do you think you’re fooling? We know a lying hatefilled trouble maker from a mile away.

      • Qatar2 says:


        Can we tone down the rhetoric? Please re-read my post again, and then cross-check it against all the things you are claiming I have said or implied. You’ve tried to extrapolate my comments into something a lot more sinister. Sensationalist much? Calling into question my religion also really doesn’t add much to the conversation and I find it very disrespectful and unnecessary for you to suggest that I can’t be Muslim simply because I am skeptical of how this all played out.

        What I believe was manipulated by the parents was the reaction POST-incident. I believe they saw the opportunity to play a card that they knew could garner significant media attention and parlay that into an opportunity. And it certainly turned out well for them, didn’t it?

        Can I also say that your last sentences seem to suggest that I am bringing an anti American perspective into this? I am not sure where you got that from at all, but it is certainly not correct.

      • Qatar2 says:


        I have posted here several times over the past few years and am most certainly not a troll. I am not going to engage in name calling with you, and the fact that you are unable to respond maturely to me shows me that it’s not likely worth my time to even dignify your post with a reply.

        Nonetheless, I felt compelled to defend that yes, I am Muslim, but whatever my religion, it doesn’t affect my perspective that I find the whole situation more than a bit sketchy. I predict that we will see more to this story if there is further investigation, once the pearl clutching, “oh, won’t someone defend this poor persecuted boy from the Fox News watching pitchfork holders” dies down.

        For the record, I am certainly not in that camp. I am about as left wing as you can be – it is the sketchiness of the situation that I am calling into question here – and it is nothing to so with my religion, which just happens to be the same as the boy and his family.

      • Lucrezia says:

        C’mon guys. Before you accuse someone of being a troll (and lying about their religion!) it’s pretty easy to google “celebitchy” and “their user name” and see if their posting history matches their claims. It took me approximately 30 seconds to find a post from qatar2 in 2013 talking about attending several functions with the wife of a Qatari Emir. Seems legit like someone who lives in Qatar, and is probably Muslim. So if you disagree with what she said, attack the argument not the person.

        For the record, I do disagree with the conspiracy theory. Caro had a very good point about the whole thing falling apart if the teachers/cops hadn’t been over-zealous idiots. They milked it, sure … but so would most people. I don’t think they set it up, it’s a plot that would fail too easily.

        Edit to add: Ah, Qatar2 managed to defend herself while I was still typing. I’m clearly not required as a white-knight, but it’s the thought that counts, so I’ll leave this up.

      • Caro says:


        It appears you are backpedaling at warp speed. Let’s look at what you actually said, the FIRST time:

        YOU: “I think it will come out that it was *ALL* a ploy by the parents to create a media poopstorm, knowing that they could claim their son was bullied and targeted for being Muslim.”

        …AND —

        YOU: “it just seems a little too convenient how it *ALL* unfolded and was perhaps a means to use the anti-Islamic sentiment in their favour. Grifters gonna grift. It is a shame that Qatar Foundation fell for the ploy.


        PERHAPS you are unclear on what the definition of the word, “ALL,” actually is.

        You don’t differentiate, and clarify that you only meant they may have taken advantage of what happened after. You used the word ALL. As in all of it.

        But I’m curious, if you are now backtracking and saying, oh they just saw how terrible, intolerant and xenophobic the awful people were being to their son, and decided to let the world know, and make their son happy and fulfilled in the process….why ON EARTH is that a negative?! So someone kicks your kid in the teeth and you’d stay quiet about it? I’d call the cops, the news stations AND try to get free dental work, and an internship at the office if my kid decided he wanted to be a dentist after the fact!

        Yet, now you’re claiming this is something negative, and shameful and elicit that the parents are doing trying to get redress and build their kid back up?!

        That makes no sense. The truth is, you’re demonizing Ahmed and his whole family for “ALL” of what happened.

        I think i had it exactly right the first time.

      • Original T.C. says:

        “Grifters gonna grift.
        It is a shame that Qatar Foundation fell for the ploy.”

        Well haters gonna hate. LOL. It doesn’t matter if you are of the same type of Muslim, that doesn’t really mean anything to me since there are vast amounts of diverse people and backgrounds in any subgroups. Some right wing bigots are too busy hating to realize the biggest victims of Muslim extremists are fellow Muslims. It’s like being a 3rd generation Mexican-American whose grandparents had the means to come to the US properly, expressing anti-immigrants sentiments, it happens.

        What concerns me is why you feel the need to contort yourself in a pretzel to come up with conspiracy theories about an innocent kid who has been cleared of any wrongdoing? So what if he gets a free ride to a outstanding educational institution in your country, how does it personally harm you? I’m sorry maybe you didn’t mean it but you sound jealous and snobby about a middle class kid from Texas having the opportunity to get a world class education and possibly house paid for.

        Calling his family grifters implies they are low-class scum who don’t want to work for a living but want to lie and steal their way through life. Yet you have not offered up even ONE shred of evidence to justify such extreme charges. So hey haters are gonna hate: Muslim, Catholic, Jewish, right wing, left wing, etc.

    • HeySandy says:

      But how could Ahmed’s family fake the cops holding him and questioning him for hours? I don’t see how the family could do that.

    • claire says:

      I’m not really on the hoax / conspiracy bandwagon. And I definitely think the teacher was acting discriminatory. But the “Ahmed is a genius kid” reaction got really overblown in everyone’s desire to bend over backwards and correct the situation. The kid didn’t build anything. He took the casing off a clock and put the intact innards into a suitcase. That’s it.

      • Caro says:


        Yea, so um, that’s not really the point…of anything.

        But it seems a lot of people, most of them adults in the rightwing noise machine, think they’re on a world stage competing with a child intellectually – so they get really desperate and eager to show us all he’s not an ‘inventor,’ and set about ‘clock-splaining.’ Yes many got it was a clock which is why we we’re outraged he was treated worse than Jerry Sandusky.

        The reaction is not about his ‘clock’ it’s about what they did to a young, impressionable, bright American kid.

        But yea…

        Congrats to all the Stephen Hawkings out there who’ve cracked the code (which actually was written in most of Ahmed’s write ups, then expounded on by Ahmed and his Dad themselves), we get it…thanks for telling us exactly how Ahmed ‘made’ this clock.

        Believe me if i had a dollar for every ragey breitbart, fox news or stormfront middle aged white guy who angrily screams ‘THE KID DIDN’T BUILD ANYTHING, HE PUT A CLOCK IN THIS OR THAT… DAMN MUSLIM!!,’ I’d be booking my own trip to Qatar in those Emirates jets with the bar and suite that Aniston pimps.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Yep, ’twas all a hoax. Ahmed’s original plan was to get shot and die bleeding in the school parking lot face down and like a dog. Can’t wait for more ‘facts’ to come out!

  19. Algernon says:

    Um. But…Qatar, though? Good for Ahmed, I guess, but that really sucks for his mom and sister.

  20. Marty says:

    I’m not a big fan of the Qatari government but they do place a high importance on education, so if that’s where he chooses then I hope he’s happy there.

    Also, keep in mind while Qatar is a Muslim country they don’t have as strict of laws as say the U.A.E. Women can drive in Qatar and go places on their own.

    • kay says:

      It’s still an extremely conservative Muslim country but these days unless you praise those countries and Muslims as eternal victims you are Islamophobe but everyone else is fair game.
      Gulf States are number one reason for the Islamic terror in the world.
      They are financing terrorists and are spreading the most extreme versions of Islam.
      The way they treat their guest workers is absolutely disgusting.

  21. Jennifer says:

    The pictures of him hugging the President of Sudan, who is responsible for the destruction of Sudan and the death of many of his people, was stomach churning. He probably could have had MIT if he could have produced here in the US. Qatar tried to one up us by taking him but I somehow don’t think the clock is a mark of great genius.

    Why didn’t you mention him hugging Bashir? It’s like hugging Pol Pot.

  22. I Choose Me says:

    Some of these comments make my stomach turn and my head hurt. So much hatefulness and misinformation.

    @Caro bless you for your patience, eloquence and insightfulness on this thread.

    • BellaK says:

      None of the comments on here are anywhere near the insane amounts of ignorance and vitriol being spewed on main stream sites. None. People have a healthy dose of skepticism these days and saying they think the family are opportunists is not necessarily hateful. Nor is it hateful to point out the schools have zero tolerance policies for sending a student to the office for contraband. Contraband includes things like magazines and toys in addition to drug paraphernalia and possible weapons. The police handled this terribly, but the school may have been following protocol. I’m not naive and denying there is islamaphobia in that part of Texas, but why does his English teacher have to be a villain? Also, I’m not sure I would praise Caro’s angry, rambling, multi paragraph, accusatory comments as patient. This is the same commenter who has gone through at least a half a dozen screen names (boobybette, Cleo etc) in the last year and who writes disgusting vitriol about JA or anyone who criticizes the JPs.

      • DestinationUnknown says:

        Well said BellaK

      • I Choose Me says:

        Do you have proof of your claim that Caro posts under multiple handles? She does not come off as angry or rambling to me. Although, it’s clear you feel differently.

        Not sure of the point you’re trying to make either. I’m not on other sites so I can’t compare comments and as I’ve had my fill of negativity, I have no interest in doing so.

        Good day madam.

  23. Pj3 says:


  24. Pandy says:

    Well, the Qatar move should certainly keep the conspiracy theorists busy. Read a quote by the daughter that she thinks Qatar is really similar to America. Hmm. Not for women …

  25. DTX says:

    This won’t be a popular post around here but I’ll post anyway. This kid is/was a local to me, lives less than 10 min from my inlaws. They attend the same mosque and this child has had plenty of discipline problems before. What no one wants to recognize is the following, lest they be labeled a bigot:

    -He pulled the guts & screen of an old clock and simply transferred them into a pencil box. Not an invention, but he is receiving praise as though he created something brilliant (maybe he’d be a good engineer one day, tho?)

    -Irving ISD is not a particularly racist school district & in fact, has lots of programs for underprivileged students (I used to work in one of them)

    -Ahmed has a long documented history of discipline problems & his parents are somewhat political and savvy enough to raise a stink for him.

    -After being advised earlier in the day by a “kinder” teacher to put the device away simply for the chance that it may be interpreted the wrong way, HE PLUGGED IT INTO AN OUTLET AT A DIFFERENT CLASSROOM AND MADE THE ALARM GO OFF, scaring the crap out of a bunch of other kids. He did not have teacher permission to do this.

    -The reason they arrested him after they knew it wasn’t an explosive is the same reason you’d get arrested for yelling “BOMB!” in an airport, even if you don’t have one. Texas schools have a Zero-tolerance policy.

    As much as we’d like this to be a good example of the VERY REAL anti-Muslim sentiment in this country, this particular story has been edited/manipulated by his politically active father into something it just isn’t. Ask yourself…What exactly has Ahmed learned from this? I will not deny that it opened excellent conversation to the anti-Islamic bigotry in this country, which is severely needed, but I just can’t sit back and watch this circus. I prefer the real stories of Muslims being harassed. My FIL was recently almost run off the road by a car full of male teens who pulled up next to him and started calling him a “Dirty Arab Terrorist” for no reason at all. FIL took down the license plate and turned it into the Irving PD & they did NOTHING about it. That mess was not on national news, either. Don’t even ask my FIL his opinion on this whole Ahmed situation either, you’ll get an earful from someone who actually knows the family. Kids can be both Muslim and have discipline issues, they are not mutually exclusive.

    Go ahead and Fire away if you feel you must, I just can feign support for something that isn’t quite true.

    • DestinationUnknown says:

      Completely agree with you.

    • PennyLane says:

      Thanks for saying this – half of my extended family is Palestinian-American and they don’t even want to talk about this kid, said it was all a publicity stunt. This kid is not a nerd (sorry) and his dad is all about the fame. There was no clock built: if I take the casing off of the flat screen TV sitting in my living room and then put it into a suitcase, did I build a TV set? This kid wanted attention and he got it. Feel sorry for his sisters having to go live under Sharia law.

    • me says:

      Very interesting. You have to agree though, this IS the internet and I take all comments and stories with a grain of salt. No one knows what is true or not true anymore.

      • Palapa says:

        I also read some of those same things in smaller news outlets local to where he lives. It seems as though major news outlets won’t publish these extra bits of info on this matter, probably to avoid ticking off their readers.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks for the perspective, DTX. A voice of sanity.

    • Harryg says:

      I agree with you and I’m tired of hearing he’s a genius.

  26. JJ says:

    If a student at my daughters school brought that thing in and it wasn’t treated like a bomb I would lose my s@&$!! It was a clock sewn into a suitcase for the love of God! It looked nefarious! Once it was determined to be a deconstructed clock sewn into a suitcase, fine-have a laugh, but these are our children-please continue to err on the side of overly cautious!

  27. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    Go Caro.