Earlier this week, the country was simultaneously outraged and captivated by the story of Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old Muslim student who was arrested for bringing a clock, which educators and police thought was a bomb, to his high school in Texas.
Support for Ahmed flooded in from around the country. His 3-day suspension and arrest was not only grounded in Islamophobia, but actively discouraged the curiosity of a bright, young mind. Tech juggernauts like Facebook and Twitter invited him to tour their companies, and educational institutions like MIT, NASA, and TAMS opened their doors, with the latter offering him a one-year scholarship. Even President Obama said he should come to the White House.
Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.
— President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
One of the things that made Ahmed’s ordeal particularly heartbreaking is this memorable image of him in handcuffs, sporting a NASA T-shirt. It not only broke our collective hearts to see such a young kid visibly scared and confused, but reinforced how genuine his curious nature and interest in science is.
I expect they will have more to say tomorrow, but Ahmed’s sister asked me to share this photo. A NASA shirt! pic.twitter.com/nR4gt992gB
— Anil Dash (@anildash) September 16, 2015
If you buy a shirt, you’ll directly benefit Ahmed and kids like him– all proceeds go towards a scholarship for Ahmed, plus memberships at makerspaces for other young innovators. You can also directly contribute to the I Stand with Ahmed LaunchGood campaign.