First Look

Why is Texas 'clock kid' moving to Qatar?

A statement from Ahmed Mohamed's family said they had been 'overwhelmed by the many offers of support' since Ahmed's arrest a little over a month ago at his school in Irving, a suburb of Dallas.

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    John M. Grunsfeld (l.), associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, poses for a selfie with Ahmed Mohamed, 14, the Texas teenager who was arrested after bringing a homemade electronic clock to school, during the second White House Astronomy Night on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Monday. Mohamed is moving to Qatar, his family said on Tuesday few hours after he was at the White House for an astronomy night hosted by President Obama.
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Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old Muslim boy who made headlines after a homemade clock he brought to school was mistaken for a bomb, is moving to the Middle East, his family said in a statement Tuesday. 

The statement said they had been "overwhelmed by the many offers of support" since Ahmed's arrest a little over a month ago at his school in Irving, a suburb of Dallas. The family said they have accepted a foundation scholarship covering Ahmed's high school and college education in Doha, Qatar.

The Mohamed family recently visited the Gulf nation as part of a month of nonstop travel, which included a stop at the White House on Monday for "Astronomy Night," and a visit to the US Capitol on Tuesday.

Earlier this week Ahmed told the Associated Press that he had visited Google and Facebook, among other companies and schools. He also met with the president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, sparking controversy. The Sudanese president is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide and war crimes for atrocities related to conflict in Darfur. Ahmed's father immigrated to the US from Sudan, and ran for president in his native country in opposition to Mr. Bashir.

Prior to "Astronomy Night," where he hugged and briefly spoke with President Obama, Ahmed told the AP he was grateful, saying the takeaway from his experience is: "Don't judge a person by the way they look. Always judge them by their heart."

Ahmed took a homemade clock to his new school on September 14 to show a teacher, but another teacher thought it could be a bomb. Police were brought in, and the 14 year-old was led from school in handcuffs, and taken to a detention center. No charges were filed but Ahmed was suspended for three days.

The family said it accepted an offer from the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development for Ahmed to join its Young Innovators Program.

"We are going to move to a place where my kids can study and learn, and all of them being accepted by that country," Ahmed's father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, told The Dallas Morning News as he boarded a flight from Washington back home to Texas on Tuesday.

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Ahmed said he was impressed with the program, the modern trappings of Doha, and thinks he'll "learn a lot and have fun, too."

“Looking at all the great offers we’ve had, it’s the best decision,” said Eyman, Ahmed's 18-year-old sister to The Dallas Morning News. “They even have Texas A&M at Qatar.... It’s basically like America.”

This report contains material from the Associated Press.


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