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Monday, October 18, 2021

Clockmaking American teen Ahmed Mohamed, family moving to Qatar

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Ahmed Mohamed and family during QF tour.
Ahmed Mohamed and family during QF tour.

The 14-year-old Texas student who was recently arrested on suspicion of making a hoax bomb has accepted a scholarship from Qatar Foundation and will move here with his family, QF has announced.

The teenager will have both his high school and undergraduate education paid for under QF’s Young Innovators Program, which provides exceptional Arabs educational opportunities in Qatar.

The family’s decision was announced just after visiting US president Barack Obama yesterday.

Ahmed has been touring the US for a month after reports of him being handcuffed, arrested and questioned in September went viral.

He was briefly held by police on potential hoax bomb charges after taking a home-made clock into school to show his teacher. Many believed he was detained because of his Muslim and Sudanese background.

Earlier this month, Ahmed received a warm welcome from Education City students during his visit to Qatar.

During that time, he toured Qatar Academy, Texas A&M University at Qatar and Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, taking selfies with students along the way.

In a statement last night, QF quoted Ahmed as saying:

“I was really impressed with everything that Qatar Foundation has to offer and the campuses are really cool. I got to meet other kids who are also really interested in science and technology. I think I will learn a lot and also have lots of fun there.”

Suspicions

Though Ahmed received messages of support on Twitter from influential leaders such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Hillary Clinton, NASA and Obama, there was also a backlash against the attention the teen received.

There are many online debates about Ahmed’s motivations for making a homemade clock, and questions about his family’s Muslim faith.

Online reaction to his imminent move has also been greeted with suspicion and derision from some:

https://twitter.com/tarheeltroll/status/656639789018517505

However, many in Qatar said they are happy to have him:

https://twitter.com/Reem_AlHarmi/status/656689133260181504

According to the Washington Post, Ahmed and his family will move here next week. His sister Eyman was quoted as saying:

“Qatar is in the Arab world, but it also feels like Texas. It’s like Texas in Qatar.”

Another media outlet reported that the family will pick up his homemade clock from the Irving, Texas police department before heading this way:

Thoughts?

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