Take that, Texas.
The Mohamed family can quit you, and it’s going to, thank you very much.
Although young Ahmed Mohamed, taker-apart of 1980s-era nightstand clocks, did get to realize his dream of meeting the president (of the United States) this week, that apparently isn’t enough to keep the family in the USA. According to the Washington Post, the Mohameds have decided, just in the last 24 hours, to move to Qatar so Ahmed can enroll in an academic program there.
“After careful consideration of all the generous offers received, we would like to announce that we have accepted a kind offer from Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) for Ahmed to join the prestigious QF Young Innovators Program, which reflects the organization’s on-going dedication to empowering young people and fostering a culture of innovation and creativity,” the family said in a news release Tuesday.
Anthony Bond, a close family friend and the founder of the Irving, Texas, chapter of the NAACP said the family made the decision to leave the U.S. within the past 24 hours.
There is no prognostication of whether Ahmed will be able to continue his career of photo ops with world leaders once he gets to Qatar.
After withdrawing from school in Texas, the boy’s family embraced the opportunities that came from his brush with the law. He visited the Google Science Fair, met with Sudan’s President Omar al Bashir, posed with the queen of Jordan at a United Nations Summit, appeared on the “Doctor Oz” show and last night, made it to the White House.
(He also performed Umrah — a pilgrimage to Mecca, but not during the Hajj — earlier in October.)
— الخليج أونلاين (@AlkhaleejOnline) October 10, 2015
WaPo wonders what it’s all been like for Ahmed.
What has this been like for Ahmed? To go from a run-of-the-mill 14-year-old to an international symbol for stereotyping in America?
In recounting Ahmed’s saga, WaPo also asserts the following with straight-faced solemnity:
Tweets, think pieces and daytime TV segments were dedicated to dissecting how Ahmed’s situation typified racism and Islamaphobia in America.
But the judgment of Ahmed’s sister may be the unkindest cut of all.
Ahmed’s sister Eyman said the Middle East won’t feel too different from the U.S., except that the family will be surrounded by Muslims like themselves.
“Qatar is in the Arab world, but it also feels like Texas. It’s like Texas in Qatar.”
Of course: unkind to whom, and in what context? Those are the questions. We look forward to learning how much like today’s Texas the Middle East really is, once American-style “racism” and “Islamophobia” have been well and truly stamped out of the world.
Meanwhile, best wishes to the Mohamed family.