After fourteen-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was arrested in September for bringing his homemade clock to school, President Obama invited him to the White House:
Tonight, Obama is making good on his word, as the 14-year-old will attend White House astronomy night. (Viewers interested in watching can link on to the White House live stream starting at 7:35 p.m. EST.)
In an interview today with Yahoo! News, Ahmed revealed that his busy schedule has not allowed him to fly back to Texas to bring his infamous notable clock to the evening’s festivities.
Ahmed, still looking for a new school after leaving his high school in Irving, Texas, has been on a world-wind tour since his arrest in September. The teenager has received invitations to be the guest of honor at institutions ranging from the Qatar Foundation to Google.
Speaking with Yahoo! News anchor Bianna Golodryga, Ahmed said the most exciting and surprising message he received after his arrest was from President Obama.
“I knew I wanted to meet the president once in my life,” Ahmed said, smiling, “but I didn’t know it would be this early.”
Ahmed told Golodryga that he planned on talking to the President about how difficult it is growing up as a Muslim in America, and that the president “shouldn’t judge people by how they look, but by their heart.”
“It was pretty hard living in America and going to school being Muslim,” said Ahmed. “I’m pretty sure if I was a Caucasian male I wouldn’t have been arrested. I would have been rewarded as the smartest kid in the class.”
The teen scientist revealed that he has been working on new projects since his clock, which he created for fun. Currently, he is building a power generator that he hopes will give people the power they need to live sustainably.
Ahmed’s scientific ambitions are in line with the purpose of the White House’s astronomy night. Founded in 2009, the purpose of the evening is to encourage students to pursue education and careers in the STEM fields.
While honored with the invitation, attention from politicians hasn’t made Ahmed consider a new career path. When questioned if he would be interested in politics, Ahmed didn’t bat an eye.
“No, I’m not into politics,” said Ahmed, “I’m into science.”
The Irving, Texas-based teenager traveled to New York last month for Maker Faire.