#IStandWithAhmed sees engineers make a stand for teen innovator

17 Sep 2015

Raising serious issues of race in the US once again, the arrest of 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed for bringing his homemade clock into school has sparked fury and expressions of solidarity among engineers on Twitter, who are showing some of their own clocks.

You know you’re on a nation’s radar when the president of the US invites you to The White House, which is what happened to Ahmed Mohamed when he was arrested after bringing his homemade clock to school because it was perceived the timepiece looked like a hoax bomb.

The photo of the 14-year-old in handcuffs sparked outrage and inspired the hashtag: #IStandWithAhmed.

While it was certainly an unpleasant thing to happen to the bright young student, it has arguably done him a lot of good seeing that since his story became public knowledge Ahmed has received future job offers from some of the biggest tech companies, including Google and Facebook.

Speaking of the arrest, Ahmed said: “I built a clock to impress my teacher but when I showed it to her, she thought it was a threat to her. It was really sad that she took the wrong impression of it.”

Despite his name being cleared, Ahmed is still suspended from his high school in Texas, MacArthur High School, but he has already spoken to the media about how he plans on transferring to another school. He also said that in the long-term he hopes to go to MIT.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg also spoke out on social media in support of Ahmed.

“Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed,” Zuckerberg said. “Ahmed, if you ever want to come by Facebook, I’d love to meet you. Keep building.”

Joining Zuckerberg in praise of the teenager were some of these engineers and scientists:

Digital clock face image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic