Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old student who was arrested for bringing a digital clock he built to his high school in Texas last week, has received a lot of attention and support from some big names. Microsoft went a step beyond kind words and invitations by sending him a big bag of geeky goodies.
A Microsoft Surface Pro 3, Microsoft Band, Cube 3D printer, Raspberry Pi, and subscription to Office 365 are just some of the items packed into Microsoft’s special delivery to Ahmed.
Alia Salem, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Dallas-Fort Worth chapter, tweeted a photo of a happy Ahmed with his gifts on Saturday. Microsoft replied via Twitter: “Enjoy…we can’t wait to see what you create with it all!”
— Alia Salem (@aliarsalem) September 19, 2015
Last Monday, Ahmed brought a digital clock to MacArthur High. The device housed a circuit board, power supply, digital display, and alarm buzzer in a pencil case. After the clock began beeping during an English lesson, the teacher took the clock an contacted the school administrator, who then called on local law enforcement.
Ahmed was pulled out of class and eventually escorted from school in handcuffs, yielding a photo that doused online outrage with even more fuel.
The incident sparked the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed, along with responses from President Barack Obama, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, MIT, NASA, Twitter, and many others.
Such an outpouring of support for Ahmed is leading to grumbling from those who think the plaudits are unjustified, those who frown at the PR aspect of it all, and those who wonder why other young people with the same passions are not given this kind of encouragement.