"Clock boy," the teenager who made worldwide headlines after a teacher in his Texas school mistook his homemade digital clock for a bomb, returned to his home state for the first time this month after his family moved to Qatar.
Ahmed Mohamed spoke to his hometown Dallas Morning News upon his return to Texas for the summer, telling the newspaper that he thinks he's more mature after the experience. Living outside the U.S. for a short time has given him a new perspective, he said.
“I want to help change Texas for a better state, and I hope that not just for Texas, but the entire world,” Ahmed said. “People sometimes don’t want to admit their mistakes, and sometimes the best thing to do is to help them change.”
Ahmed received an outpouring of support in September of 2015, when he was arrested and handcuffed in front of fellow students at his Irving, Texas, high school after a teacher thought his homemade LED clock resembled a bomb. Police quickly realized their mistake, and people in the community came forward to defend the teenager, who liked to tinker with computers and other technology, but the damage was done.
While thousands of people on social media sent messages of support to Ahmed, including President Barack Obama himself, who invited the teen to show off his gadgets at the White House, the Mohamed family said they were also on the receiving end of death threats, which prompted the family to move to Qatar.
While there, Ahmed said he learned more about Islam, which is embedded in the curriculum, and made a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
Ahmed told the Dallas Morning News that he'll catch up with friends at home, but he'll also get to do some things most teenagers don't get a chance to do -- including visiting tech giants Facebook and Twitter at the invitation of both companies.
“Seeing where they’re at now, they inspire me a lot because they always show how a small weekend project can turn into something big,” Ahmed told the Morning News.
Ahmed said he won't stay in Qatar forever. Although he's heading into his sophomore year of high school, he hopes to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study physics and electrical engineering.
His ordeal in Texas hasn't stopped him from tinkering with gadgets and creating inventions of his own.
“I just want to invent,” Ahmed said. “I want to help the world a lot, and it would be amazing to see my creations in action.”