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NORTH TEXAS (KRLD-AM) – From here in North Texas to the White House to across the world, 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed from Irving has captured everyone’s attention with his homemade clock.
Tweets and Facebook messages of support have poured in, and created the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed.
“You know it’s a big deal when all of a sudden a group in Nova Scotia is tweeting support,” says Steve Lee, who teaches a social media class at SMU.
Lee says the exposure has created a platform for Mohamed, and a chance to really do some good for others like him.
“My hope, my expectation is he turns this into something wonderful for other teenagers, other people that want to be an engineer.”
Those on social media have posted words of encouragement, urging Mohamed not to give up his dream of building. Many have tweeted a picture taken of him as he was arrested, noting the NASA shirt he wore and the confused look on his face.
Others are using social media to criticize how Irving police and school officials handled the situation. The heated discussions are stemming from what folks see as the unfairness of it all.
“The tone of the message is we expect all of us to be fair, to be a little bit tolerant and not look at you and judge you based on what I see,” Lee says.
Mohamed took to Twitter himself, creating a new account also called @IStandWithAhmed.
A tweet from him says he never thought anyone would care so much about a little Muslim boy. Hillary Clinton tweeted for him to stay curious and keep building. Mark Zuckerberg invited Mohamed to Facebook.
And President Obama tweeted his support too, saying Mohamed and his clock are welcome at the White House any time.
Lee says Mohamed truly does truly have the world in front of him, as long as he dwells on the positives.
“Look at what it propels him to be. He’s already good. He’s already very smart. So those are the kind of people, young or old, that take advantage of these situations.”
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