Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The Clock And The Overnight Star

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Ahmed Mohamed

 

Be a bit innovative_ get a homemade clock to school_hold a skeptical name and a color tone not-so-cool_wear an innocent smile_all enough to welcome raised brows_ an arrest inviting limelight_followed by support for innocence from high-profile and the millions around the world online- Congrats, you’ve become a celebrity!

This might be the shortest route to fame, with the least efforts made. The Texas guy, Ahmed Mohamed- a 14-year old school goer has found this new recipe to stardom out of nothing but a clock in his hand, which was replaced by handcuffs. The crime he did? Brought a home-made clock to school. He might have been excited about his ‘cute’ innovation, but little did he knew that his clock would be mistaken as a ‘bomb’ by his English teacher and will bring him behind bars. This might have given his family a blow but made him an overnight internet celebrity.

Ahmed is the son of a fisherman who hails from a Muslim family from Sudan. Interestingly, his father has sought to be elected the Sudanese President twice. The clock he brought to school was a simple work of arrangement carrying a circuit board wired with power supply, compiled in a rectangular case- a keen work of engineering by a young teenager who was appreciated for the same by his engineering teacher. Things turned to get weird when this clock beeped during his English lecture, and his teacher turned skeptical. Taking him to the principal’s office, the police later came to the scene, and after an hour and a half of interrogation, Ahmed was taken into custody in handcuffs. According to him, he was not allowed to contact his family during long questioning sessions. He was also threatened by the principal of being expelled from the school unless he signed a written statement.

This innocent boy was unable to do much about the situation other than repeatedly mentioning that it was a mere clock! Later, when he was proved to be innocent, and the ‘informal’  charges against him were withdrawn, responses began to flow in through the media calling the subsequent arrest and what followed as America’s Islamophobia.’ It has brought forth critical remarks and debates on racial profiling.

The same clock gathered President Barack Obama’s attention, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and even MIT, apart from the rest of the online community, which came up with loads of hashtags #IstandwithAhmed within a day.

While the President has invited him to the White House with the clock, Mr. Zukerberg got nostalgic about how he found Facebook out of his Harvard dorm room, also inviting Ahmed to visit him at the office. Google sent an invitation calling him to its science fair, with a promise to bring the clock. MIT did the icing on the already super-sweetened cake by admitting they would love to have him at MIT.

Ahmed handcuffed, wearing a faded NASA T-shirt.

What more can anyone ask for? Nobody goes out fishing out of boredom on a lazy day and finds a diamond on the bank. But something similar happened with this guy. Kudos Ahmed,  you made it big. And the clock is priceless. 🙂

Author’s bio:

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I hail from Allahabad, the holy city where three great rivers culminate as one at Sangam. I m pursuing a bachelor’s in philosophy, and all my screws are at their right place. : -D I like reading and traveling.  I like dark humor and critic over fiction since it requires a lot of wits and sincere efforts. I wish to travel to as many places as possible.  Writing is becoming my new favorite hobby, and I hope to do meaningful writing that deserves honest admiration.  

 

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