The now-dubbed “Clock Kid” and his family announced back in October their plan to move to Doha, Qatar.
Ahmed Mohamed, 14, was arrested by Texas police when his teacher called the police on him. He had brought in a homemade clock to share with the class that apparently looked suspicious enough to pass as a bomb. He was handcuffed, taken to a juvenile detention center, and suspended from his high school.
The family’s press release regarding the move stated the following:
“After careful consideration of all the generous offers received, we would like to announce that we have accepted a kind offer from Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) for Ahmed to join the prestigious QF Young Innovators Program, which reflects the organization’s on-going dedication to empowering young people and fostering a culture of innovation and creativity.”
To no one’s surprise, the Twitter world shared its opinions on the matter by the storm. Disturbingly, a majority of tweets were extremely negative, and reflect the extent of pervasive bigotry within our society. However, many were supportive of the family’s situation.
1. Accuse nice kid of being a terrorist
2. Kid's family is pissed
3. Family moves to Qatar
4. Call kid a terrorist pic.twitter.com/8aje2xBoy2
— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) October 20, 2015
— Jules Alcide (@AlphaJac) October 21, 2015
Taking liberal white guilt money then saying bye to racist America got to be the best move I've ever witnessed https://t.co/uTimBiXUZH
— Ok then (@bitterarab) October 20, 2015
Now, Ahmed and his family are seeking $15 million in damages and their rightful apologies from the City of Irving, as well as the school district.
Kelly Hollingsworth, who is representing the family, says that while the number is large, “the damages caused against this young man and his family are incalculable.”
Not only were Ahmed’s civil rights violated, but the repercussions and media coverage surrounding the incident caused the family to fear for their safety.
“This family left their home in Irving because of a very rational fear for their physical safety. On an elemental level, the Mohamed family’s life as any of them had known it evaporated that day at the hands of the Irving ISD and City of Irving. While many people online were gleeful to see them leaving their home in Irving, Texas, U.S.A., Ahmed and his family miss Texas. They miss their friends. They miss their grandmother. They miss their extended family.”
Ahmed Mohamed is one of the most recent, hyper-visible victims of Islamophobia. The level of psychological stress the entire ordeal has caused is immense, and extremely difficult to understand unless one stands in his shoes. An apology from those who wronged him is a small thing to ask in return.
The response to this recent development has been shockingly negative.
"WHAT? IT'S A WALKING CANE THAT I INVENTED! NOW GIVE ME $15 MILLION!"-Ahmed Mohamed pic.twitter.com/qrh83yu8Ym
— ScottInSC (@ScottInSC) November 23, 2015
I have never wanted to punch a kid as much as I have wanted to punch Ahmed Mohamed.
— Skiso (@SkisoLini) November 24, 2015
Go f*ck yourself Ahm?d M?hamed… | Ahmed Mohamed seeking $15 million in damages https://t.co/PbYHvFg8NL
— AG (@ag_texas) November 23, 2015
I feel bad for Ahmed Mohamed. Looks like the parents are using him for money/fame. Like Toddlers and Tiaras but nerdier.
— Angela Morabito (@AngelaLMorabito) November 23, 2015
If my child was in that school, I'd counter-sue for the stress Ahmed Mohamed caused.#ClockBoy should be arrested
— The Media Lies (@MeganSmiles) November 23, 2015
Even if you didn’t understand before, it’s now not that difficult to see why the family felt compelled to leave such an incredibly hostile, ignorant and downright dangerous environment.