On Monday, September 14th, 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed from Irving, Texas was eager to show his teacher that he had made a clock all on his own. Ahmed always had an interest in building things and figuring out how to make them work. He plans to continue this interest in the future by pursuing engineering.

However, instead of his teacher commending his hard work, he was suspected of creating and bringing a bomb to school. It is believed that the main reason why Ahmed was suspected of this was because he was Muslim. Ever since 9/11, Islamophobia has been an issue in the United States. For this oblivious school in Texas, it was unfortunately their first instinct to think that Ahmed had intended to create a bomb, or a “fake bomb” to scare other children or faculty members. This belief held strong within the school, despite Ahmed’s clean disciplinary record, good grades and his insisting that the invention was nothing other than a clock.

The young man says that the police were worried about the “briefcase” the clock was in, which was simply a cheap box that could be found at Target or Walmart to keep the clock protected from damage.

Ahmed was arrested, humiliated in front of the school, and interrogated. He reported feeling as if he wasn’t “human” and as if he was a “criminal”. It is horrible to think that such a talented young man could be singled out in such a way, just because of his ethnicity, religion, and interest in engineering.

On the bright side, many people have spoken out to support this young man and attempt to alleviate some of the misfortune he has experienced. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg invited him to visit the Facebook headquarters, President Obama invited him to the White House and Google invited him to visit their campus. Basically, Ahmed is going to be able to be known by many important people and he may even land a scholarship and acceptance to a top university!

Although it is terrible that Ahmed had to experience this, it is amazing how many people are reaching out and how many opportunities he will receive to hone his talent and advance his future. Keep following your dream, Ahmed!