Aug 01, 2021 | Updated: 04:53 PM EDT

Silver Linings: Teen Gets Invited To White House, Facebook HQ, After Getting Arrested For Building A Clock

Sep 16, 2015 09:44 PM EDT

President Barack Obama and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg may have noticed Ahmed Mohamed’s budding gift for invention, but it came with a high price. That price included being suspected of creating and bringing a bomb to school, and the mess that ensued after. School officials from MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas moved from “cautious” to “panicked” as they erroneously thought that Ahmed Mohamed, 14, created a bomb.

Ahmed Mohamed built a simple digital clock on Sunday night. Ahmed initially showed the clock to his Engineering teacher, who expressed a mild appreciation for the innovation, but advised the teen not to show the device to other teachers. True enough, later, during English class, Ahmed’s clock beeped. As he showed his creation to his teacher, she remarked that it looked like a bomb.

Irving policemen soon descended on the campus, handcuffed Ahmed, and questioned him in a manner that could certainly be considered traumatizing for the teen. Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, expressed that the treatment that his son was subjected to could be traced to “Islamophobia,” or prejudice against Muslims. The teen was called by his last name several times by police officers, and speculations have been expressed that the police emphasized his last name for the its Islamic roots.

There is a silver lining for the teen amid all the badly-handled security precautions: As mentioned, both President Barack Obama and Facebook mogul Mark Zuckerberg have practically laid out the red carpet for Ahmed: “Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.” – President Barack Obama, @POTUS



“You’ve probably seen the story about Ahmed, the 14 year old student in Texas who built a clock and was arrested when he took it to school. Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed. Ahmed, if you ever want to come by Facebook, I'd love to meet you. Keep building.” – Mark Zuckerberg,


Ahmed has announced that he’ll take the President’s offer, and will visit the White House. He also expressed that he’ll be changing schools, soon.


For a timeline of events surrounding Ahmed Mohamed's arrest, social media redemption, and other updates, head on over to The Verge:

Watch the video on Ahmed Mohamed's surreal moment on Reuters:

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