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Ahmed and His Family Speak: “Go for it, Don’t Change Who You Are”


Video courtesy of ABC Breaking News

Ahmed Mohamed’s family held a press conference this afternoon to address yesterday’s events in which Ahmed, 14, brought a homemade digital clock to school and was promptly arrested for the device on suspicion that it might actually be a bomb.

Ahmed’s family Tweeted a picture of themselves going to see their lawyer this morning, although the Irving Police Department later issued a media release that they are dropping the charges for which Ahmed was arrested.

During the conference, Ahmed stated, “It was really sad that [my teacher] took the wrong impression of it,” but with a smile, he said “It didn’t bother me that they didn’t apologize. I know that with all the supporters I have, that apology has already been made by all my supporters.”

When asked if he will accept President Obama’s invitation to come to the White House, Ahmed’s “yes” was met with cheering. In response to the attention from Obama, Clinton, Zuckerberg, and other high profile public figures, Ahmed said that he “is pleased that they’re part of the action and the movement… not just with me but around the entire globe.”

This morning, social media exploded with the trending hashtag #IStandWithAhmed (currently at 833,000 Tweets and climbing), prompted by the arrest and suspension of Ahmed. “Thank you to all my supporters on Twitter, Facebook, all social media, thank you all for helping me,” he said. The support “felt really outstanding. I never thought I’d get this far, but since I have… I’ll try my best not just to help me, but to help every other kid in the entire world who has a problem like this.”

To other kids who might feel discouraged from pursuing their passions, Ahmed advised to “Go for it! Don’t let people change who you are, even if you get a consequence for it… show it to people, you need to show them your talent.”

Make: admires Ahmed’s grit and poise in representing all Makers. We are pleased to extend an invitation to Ahmed and his family to attend the World Maker Faire in New York on September 26 and 27, as our guests.

Ahmed is still suspended from school until Thursday. He is planning on transferring out of MacArthur High School and hopes to eventually attend MIT.

33 thoughts on “Ahmed and His Family Speak: “Go for it, Don’t Change Who You Are”

  1. This seems like a set up and I do not support Ahmed. The school did what they had to do to err on the side of caution. Too many lunatics, ie Boston Marathon with the Backpacks. This boy with a pencil case and a PWB, a screen, wires, battery, etc. While I do not want to live in this type of world, I did not create it. The people from these foreign countries have brought it to us. We have terrorists living here and we all know it. To sit in hindsight and say shame on the school, well you would be singing a different tune if that clock had been a bomb. Going to their lawyer…Who did not see that coming. You owe them NOTHING! He needs to be charged for a bomb hoax and if Ahmed does not get it, then maybe he is not as smart as you think he is,

    1. Disagree. The school was not evacuated, the bomb squad was not called in. They knew there was no threat, they were told what the device was. I don’t know why they decided to take it as far as they did. And this is the level of knowledge and logic I would expect from a child of his age.

      1. They were told by the maker of the clock? They should have evacuated the school. Kids get suspended for bringing water pistols to school..what he did was wrong. He should not be made a hero for it.he was put up to it. The whole thing was yo start more trouble.

        1. I guess the big question is, did he intentionally want to cause a panic? If he did then he was successful. Whats the lesson here?
          On a side note, when I was a kid the last day of school was water pistol day. Everyone brought one in and we soaked each other. Our principal would bring in his black powder cannons and shoot them off. Today people are afraid to eat a poptart the wrong way. Is our society safer? Are we missing out on life, hiding under our rock because of what might be lurking? I still remember the first time I electrocuted myself with 120VAC. I was eight years old. Nobody kept me safe from that, and it started me on my way to discovery. By telling our kids they are in a constant threat of danger, real or imaginary, they grow up mentally cold and withdrawn.

    2. Really?? Did you see the so called bomb?? It was a giant Jack Baur clock!! Anyone who mistakes that for a bomb is a major idiot. Maybe that teacher should be forced to go through electronics 101 or something. Ohh and he’s a minor. He has rights!! You crazy person.

    3. I think adults put him up to this..I agree the teacher and police were right to make sure it wasn’t a bomb..fishy is right..

    4. Most Excellent comment. He and his parents are just testing the waters trying to force relaxation of school vigilance . Also they are promoting the abused muslim theme that is going around.

  2. After learning more about this story and seeing the clock set up, I think there is something really fishy about this whole story.
    Anyone who is not a trained engineer that does amateur electrical engineering knows that nothing this complex takes 20 minutes to make (as claimed in news stories) unless you are slightly modifying a previous iteration.
    I still think the school personnel are idiots for not being able to identify the absence of explosives in the case.

    1. yes, the kid was smart enough to KNOW it was controversial to begin with. And, they learn fast, e.g. all the muslim women refusing to take head garb off for DL pics, and more.

    2. Because they could see through the case to check for explosives? It wasn’t because they thought he actually built a bomb, it was because they thought it was a bomb hoax. And it probably took about 20 minutes for him to take the casing off a digital clock and put it in a briefcase.

  3. Ah, a press conference … this is looking more and more like an intentional ploy for media coverage by a zealous former politician father.

  4. If a teen from David Koresh’s former church, or that Westboro Church, had this in school, the progressive responses would be quite different, and I’m quite sure the student would be in just as much trouble.

    What kind of clock is this anyway? That’s all it does, tell chronological time? But does it even do that? Does it only count down to zero?

    Is it powered by lemons or something novel, a fuel cell? It looks like a suitcase bomb from 24. Very bizarre.

    1. They never believed it was a bomb. They didn’t evacuate the school, they never called the bomb squad, they took it to the office while they waited for the police, the police carried it in their car and had it present when they questioned him. The never thought it was a bomb.

      Not one, but a whole string of adults in positions of authority failed to stop this racist charade.

      1. Right. The kid had a history of disruptive behavior. Did it occur to you that they might have seen it for what it was? A device made to look like a bomb to cause a stir?
        Now that we have seen the story in more detail, including the kid hanging with known terrorists and the entire family moving to Qatar (home of liberal democracy?) you might want to revise your thinking.

  5. Snarky little Ahmed wants to prank his school with a fake bomb.

    His engineering teacher calls his scheme, punked him back by calling the cops.

    Cops, wise to the situational dynamic, cuff and take him in to give him a little scare.

    Someone cries bloody murder they’ve jailed a brown boy for being muslim.

    Internet explodes with sympathy, excuses, accusations and condemnations.

    Millions of kids start scheming viral school pranks that exploit hot button issues.

      1. I think he should not be getting all this attention, but it is just as bad to say he should be jailed for being a muslim as it is that he gets all this attention for being a muslim who was accused of a bomb threat.

  6. Now had that actually been a bomb..those pressure cookers didn’t “look” like bombs.., if the teacher had just ignored it, and it blew up the class., would all these people be patting him on the back? I’m wondering if someone put him up to this to start more discontent and problems between the races and religions..

  7. Being a muslim he did not show any common sense to be so (brilliant). His parents are not much better. Seems now they demand to terrorize schools as part of their rights. The HLS should search the home and Etc to see if the parents are (peaceful).

  8. An invitation to the White House? Come on for what,the lady who save her son from being hit down by a car,she wasn’t recognized. But this kid who pulled a Catfish gets praised smh,going to a lawyer for what? For compensation for the school actions,I bet you that lawyer is putting things in their head about suing. I hope no more of my tax money is used to pay for his publicity stunt.

  9. He didn’t make anything. He partially disassembled a mass-market item. Dishonest kid and inaccurate reporting.

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Sophia is the managing editor of the Make: blog. When she’s not greasing editorial gears, she likes to run, ride, climb, and lift things, and make lo-tech goods like zines, desserts, and altered clothing. @sophiuhcamille

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