Media sources report the 14-year-old was in Washington, D.C. at the time when he met the commander-in-chief on Monday (Oct. 19) for Astronomy Night, a White House initiative created to encourage students to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects.
Taking to social media, Mohamed voiced his excitement over meeting Obama via the following caption that appeared alongside a picture of him and Obama that he posted on Instagram:
“SO HAPPY, I CANT BELIEVE THAT I MET THE #president of THE #UNITEDSTATES!!!”
Mohamed’s visit with Obama marks the latest in a string of encounters he’s had with prominent individuals. In the past few weeks, the teen has met with Queen Rania of Jordan, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and the President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir. In addition to Obama, Mohamed met with Rep. Mike Honda on Tuesday. The politician, who represents Silicon Valley, is looking into Mohamed’s arrest by sending Attorney General Loretta Lynch a letter asking the Department of Justice to investigate the incident, which occurred at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas in September.
However, despite efforts to look in to Ahmed’s situation, the teen is gearing up to relocate overseas.
On Tuesday, the Mohamed family released a statement that revealed Ahmed’s intent to move to Qatar.
“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 the statement, which acknowledged that Ahmed will receive a scholarship for the program.
Speaking with The Washington Post, Anthony Bond, a family friend and the founder of the Irving, Texas chapter of the NAACP mentioned that the Mohamed family made the decision to leave for Qatar in the past 24 hours and will be moving to the Gulf nation next week.
As for the reason behind the move, Ahmed’s 19-year-old sister, Eyman, stated that it stemmed from pressure and criticism Ahmed received after his arrest. The negativity was so much that it apparently made the young man not want to attend school in the U.S.
“It’s been really hard,” Eyman told the Post regarding conspiracy theories on the Internet that Ahmed made the clock as a publicity stunt. “Everything happens for a reason, but there’s so much stuff being said that isn’t true.”
“Everybody’s vilifying him, and he’s not a villain. He’s a 14 year old boy,” Bond said.
Along with their move to Qatar, the family used the statement to thank the U.S. and other countries for the “generous offers” they received from them.
Ahmed also explained his excitement to move to the Gulf nation:
“Qatar was a cool place to visit,” Ahmed said in the statement as he expressed his excitement in moving to Qatar. “I loved the city of Doha because it’s so modern. I saw so many amazing schools there, many of them campuses of famous American universities. The teachers were great. I think I will learn a lot and have fun too.”