Before Ahmed Mohamed and his family left for Qatar, there was one last thing he had to do: get his clock back.
The 14-year-old Texas boy, who caused a social media firestorm after being arrested on September 14 for bringing a homemade clock to school, was able to retrieve his clock from police Friday before moving away from the United States. His family previously announced on Tuesday that they will be moving to Qatar.
"GOT MY CLOCK BACK FINALLY" tweeted Ahmed, along with two emoji, displaying the clock that was taken from him after a teacher said it looked like a bomb. He told The Dallas Morning News that he had been in robotics club in middle school, and he wanted to show his new teacher what he could do.
As word of his arrest spread across social media, thousands of people used the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed to support the teen after accusations that authorities targeted him because he is Muslim and companies such as Google and Facebook said that they wanted to meet Ahmed. Even President Barack Obama invited Ahmed to the White House, which the teen did Monday for the White House's Astronomy Night.
Ahmed was never officially charged in the clock incident, and police in the Dallas suburb of Irving have denied the teen’s Muslim background played any role in their response to the call of a suspicious device after a teacher mistook the clock for a possible bomb.
Despite all the interest in Ahmed from institutions of higher learning and technology companies in the U.S., his family decided they'd be better off taking advantage of opportunities abroad.
“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 (QF) for Ahmed to join the prestigious QF Young Innovators Program,” Ahmed’s family said in a statement.
Ahmed will receive a full scholarship for his secondary and undergraduate education, his family said.
“I loved the city of Doha because it’s so modern,” Ahmed said in the release. “The teachers were great. I think I will learn a lot and have fun, too,” he added.