Ahmed Mohamed and President Obama Just Met at the White House — Here's How It Went

Source: Getty Images

Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old Muslim who became a household name after being arrested in his Texas school on Sept. 14 when his teachers said they feared his homemade clock was a fake bomb, has done well for himself. 

Mohamed met with President Barack Obama on Monday night at the White House's astronomy night, at which the teenager was an attendee. 

In September, social media revolted against what many described as a racially and religiously motivated arrest, propagating the #IStandWithAhmed campaign. In a sign of solidarity, Obama tweeted at the young engineer, inviting him to visit the White House. 

"I felt really happy that I got support from the president," Mohamed told the Dallas Morning News on Monday, in anticipation of his visit. "It's really amazing that he helped me." 

Mohamed also noted, despite the president's invitation to do so, he would not bring his clock as he was returning from Sudan, his parents' native country (where he'd met Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, on Wednesday), and therefore didn't have time to return home to Texas to retrieve it. But White House press secretary Josh Earnest said he wasn't certain whether or not Mohamed had been advised to leave the clock at home.

Earnest also told the Dallas Morning News before the event that the president would likely not have time to meet with Mohamed one-on-one, making their later interaction an unexpected one.

"We need to inspire more young people to ask about the stars and begin that lifetime quest to become the next great scientist or inventor or engineer or astronaut," Obama said on the south lawn to an audience of students, astronauts and Bill Nye, "the Science Guy." USA Today posted a video of the speech. 

"We have to watch for and cultivate and encourage those glimmers of curiosity and possibility — not suppress them, not squelch them," the president said. "Because not only are the young people's futures at stake, but our own is at stake."

Source: Mic/USA Today

"That's one of the reasons my administration's worked so hard to encourage kids to enter STEM fields — especially young women, who are too often underrepresented in these fields," the president said to applause. "We are halfway to my goal of training 100,000 new STEM teachers by the end of the decade."

Naturally, Twitter did not miss an opportunity to chime in. Many people used social media to express their support for the young scientist and excitement at the White House's encouragement. 

News reached all corners of the globe; even the United States consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, advertised the event on its Twitter page:

Out of 64 countries, the U.S. ranked 35th for math and 27th for science in 2012, according to a Pew Research Center report published in February. High barriers to entry for women and ethnic minorities in STEM are also well documented. The president's response to Mohamed and his clock, in conjunction with the speech on Monday night, could not have sent a clearer message regarding his desire to amend this. 

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Natasha Noman

Natasha is a News Staff Writer covering global affairs. She previously reported on regional affairs from Pakistan. Natasha is based in New York and can be reached at natasha@mic.com.

MORE FROM

'Hot Mic' podcast: Tropical Storm Cindy, Housing for Grenfell fire survivors, Uber CEO steps down

The important stories to get you caught up for Thursday.

EPA committee told that "climate change will be de-emphasized" by Trump administration

A key advisory committee has been "totally decimated" ex-members say.

O.J. Simpson's parole hearing will be held in Nevada on July 20

The former NFL player is serving a minimum 9-year sentence for armed robbery, kidnapping and other charges related to a 2007 confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers

Your favorite coffee could be going extinct thanks to climate change

Your caramel mocha frappuccino is in peril.

'Wall Street Journal' reporter fired over ethical violations

The reporter was allegedly part of a potential business deal with a source.

Sex crime advocates say 2 underage girls forced into sex during robbery are victims, not criminals

Prosecutors are charging the teen girls as adults for their involvement in an alleged robbery.

'Hot Mic' podcast: Tropical Storm Cindy, Housing for Grenfell fire survivors, Uber CEO steps down

The important stories to get you caught up for Thursday.

EPA committee told that "climate change will be de-emphasized" by Trump administration

A key advisory committee has been "totally decimated" ex-members say.

O.J. Simpson's parole hearing will be held in Nevada on July 20

The former NFL player is serving a minimum 9-year sentence for armed robbery, kidnapping and other charges related to a 2007 confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers

Your favorite coffee could be going extinct thanks to climate change

Your caramel mocha frappuccino is in peril.

'Wall Street Journal' reporter fired over ethical violations

The reporter was allegedly part of a potential business deal with a source.

Sex crime advocates say 2 underage girls forced into sex during robbery are victims, not criminals

Prosecutors are charging the teen girls as adults for their involvement in an alleged robbery.