Boy arrested over clock gets to meet UN officials

Ahmed Mohamed was arrested after his teacher thought his clock was a bomb.
Ahmed Mohamed was arrested after his teacher thought his clock was a bomb. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

DALLAS • A Texas teenager, who became a global sensation after he was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school that was mistaken for a bomb, is to meet foreign dignitaries at the United Nations.

Ahmed Mohamed, 14, a Muslim student who dabbles in robotics and attended a Dallas area high school, touched off a social media firestorm, with many seeing his arrest last week as being tied to his religion.

He also won support from President Barack Obama who personally invited him to the White House for an astronomy night, and Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, who said, "Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest".

Ahmed, a bespectacled ninth grader with a penchant for wearing Nasa T-shirts, attended Google's science fair on Monday at its campus in California.

He was to travel to New York yesterday with his family for the UN visit, Ms Alia Salem, executive director of the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations said on Tuesday.

The boy's social schedule has been draining, his father told the Dallas Morning News, adding that his son has not been eating or sleeping well. Mr Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed also told the paper that his son does not feel comfortable returning to MacArthur High School, where the incident happened, and will withdraw.

Ahmed was accused of making a hoax bomb, handcuffed and questioned. He received a three- day suspension from the high school over the clock he had put together to impress his new classmates and teachers.

No charges were filed, and police have said they would review the decisions the officers made in his arrest.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2015, with the headline 'Boy arrested over clock gets to meet UN officials'. Print Edition | Subscribe