Baseball and apple pie apparently don’t cut it after meeting with dictators accused of war crimes.
Ahmed Mohamed of Irving, Texas, became a celebrity after a “suitcase-clock” he brought to MacArthur High School on Sept. 14 resulted in disciplinary action. The family now says it will permanently relocate to Qatar.
The 14-year-old’s family used his temporary detention by police and three-day suspension as the catalyst for one month of trips to New York, the White House, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.
“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 by phone Tuesday.
The ninth-grade student met President Obama on Monday on the South Lawn of the White House during an astronomy event. Prior to that, he toured an “education city” in Doha, Qatar, completed a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia (as an honored guest of Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud), and spoke with Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir (who is accused by the International Criminal Court of orchestrating genocide).
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“After careful consideration of all the offers we’ve received, we would like to announce that we have accepted a kind offer from Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development for Ahmed to join the prestigious QF Young Innovators Program, which reflects the organization’s ongoing dedication to empowering young people and fostering a culture of innovation and creativity,” the family said in a statement released Tuesday, the newspaper reported.
See how a 14-year-old Muslim 9th-grader went from taking apart a commercial alarm clock and assembling it in a contraption that looked like a bomb to stargazing with President Obama at the White House.
Qatar Foundation’s sister institution in the U.S., Qatar Foundation International, or QFI, was founded by Sheikh bin Al Thani, who also created Al Jazeera. The organization also has links to the Muslim Brotherhood, Front Page Magazine reported Sept. 30. Qatar itself is known for being a prime sponsor of violent Islamists.
It is unclear if the Qatar Foundation is aware that the teenager did not make a clock on the day he was suspended, but instead took parts from an existing digital clock and secured them to a suitcase.
“If someone had really made a clock, this circuitry would not look like this. First of all, this transformer is for a 120 volt line. People who do ‘maker’ things do not tend to use AC power because it’s a bit more dangerous and there’s no reason to do it. You can use batteries,” electronics expert Thomas Talbot said in a viral YouTube video posted Sept. 20, WND reported.
School officials have insisted from the beginning they did the right thing by suspending Mohamed, but they cannot release the teenager’s records without consent from his parents.
Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne told the Dallas Morning News Oct. 8 the family was ignoring requests by the Irving School District to publicly share its side of the story. The family’s legal representation, attorneys Thomas Bowers and Reggie London, did not respond to the newspaper when asked for comment.
“In the age of Columbine, zero tolerance and ‘see something, say something,’ the teacher confiscated the briefcase,” WND Editor and co-founder Joseph Farah wrote Sept 20. “Ahmed was summoned to the principal’s office and a meeting with five police officers. He did not offer the reasonable explanation the entire country has heard since – that the device was built as a science project. Instead, he reportedly refused to say any more than, ‘It’s a clock.'”