People across the country were outraged by the arrest of 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed, a Muslim high school freshman and amateur engineer who was detained this week after teachers mistook his homemade alarm clock for a homemade bomb. But at home in Irving, Texas, Mohamed and his family appeared to take the ordeal — and the subsequent media circus — in stride, serving up pizza and beverages to the horde of reporters who flocked to their lawn for a press conference Wednesday.
Mohamed Ahmed's family brings pizza to media outside of home. This family..... pic.twitter.com/iRf73vnEvU— Priya Desai (@priyadesai) September 17, 2015
Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, praised his son’s ingenuity, telling reporters, “He fixed my phone, my car, my computer. He’s a very smart, brilliant kid.”
A native of Sudan who said he has lived in the same house for over 30 years, the elder Mohamed expressed disappointment over his son’s arrest.
“This is not America,” he said.
Sporting the same NASA T-shirt he was pictured getting handcuffed in days earlier, Ahmed, told reporters he was saddened by the reaction to his clock — which he’d brought to school in hopes of impressing his engineering teacher — but grateful for the outpouring of support he’s received since.
In just over 24 hours, @IStandWithAhmed, a Twitter account Ahmed’s older sisters helped him create, has attracted close to 80,000 followers and prompted statements of support from all over the country, from Silicon Valley to NASA and the White House.
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 Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
Ahmed said he was considering transferring from MacArthur High School, where he was suspended until Thursday. Based on some of the offers he’s already received, including an internship at Twitter, a spot at a Science and Engineering Magnet School in Dallas and a visit to his dream school, MIT, Ahmed should have no shortage of opportunities to pursue any of his interests going forward.