The 14-year-old Muslim boy who was arrested after a homemade clock he brought to school was mistaken for a possible bomb will be moving with his family to the Middle East so he can attend school there, his family said Tuesday.
The family of Ahmed Mohamed released a statement saying they had accepted a foundation's offer to pay for his high school and college in Doha, Qatar. He recently visited the country as part of a whirlwind month that included a Monday stop at the White House and an appearance Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol.
"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 on Tuesday.
The statement said the family has been "overwhelmed by the many offers of support" since Ahmed's arrest on Sept. 14 at his school in Irving, a Dallas suburb. The family said it accepted an offer from the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development to join its Young Innovators Program.
Ahmed, who along with his family will relocate to Qatar, received a full scholarship for his secondary and undergraduate education. Ahmed said he was impressed with the program and thinks he'll "learn a lot and have fun, too."
Ahmed took a homemade clock to his high school to show a teacher, but the school contacted police, who handcuffed the boy and took him to a detention center. The school suspended him for three days and President Barack Obama tweeted: "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."
At the time, “He just wants to invent good things for mankind,” Ahmed’s father told The Dallas Morning News. “But because his name is Mohamed and because of Sept. 11, I think my son got mistreated."
A police photo of the device shows a carrying case containing a circuit board and power supply wired to a digital display. Police ultimately chose not to charge Ahmed, with having a hoax bomb, and the police chief has said there was no evidence the teen meant to cause alarm. His parents later withdrew him from the school but not before "the clock kid" became a global sensation.
Since then, Ahmed has been traveling the world. He has visited Google and Facebook, along with other companies and institutions. He also visited with the president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, which has prompted some criticism because al-Bashir is wanted by International Criminal Court on charges of genocide and war crimes for atrocities linked to the Darfur fighting. Ahmed's father is a Sudanese immigrant to the U.S. and a former presidential candidate in Sudan who ran opposing al-Bashir.
Before attending "Astronomy Night" at the White House on Monday, where he chatted briefly with Obama, Ahmed said he was grateful. He said the lesson of his experience is: "Don't judge a person by the way they look. Always judge them by their heart."
Al Jazeera with The Associated Press