Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old American Muslim boy who was briefly arrested after a homemade clock he brought to school was mistaken for a bomb, met with Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir in the capital Khartoum late Wednesday. The Texas teenager told reporters he was “extremely delighted” to meet Bashir and said he hoped to visit the Sudanese dictator again “with a new invention and success,” the Sudan Tribune reported.
Bashir received Ahmed and his family at a private presidential residence, where the longtime Sudanese president apparently praised the boy for his intelligence and talent. The boy’s father, Mohamed Hassan al-Sufi, is a Sudanese immigrant in the United States and a former presidential candidate who ran unsuccessfully against Bashir last year. He was excluded from running in 2010 by Sudan’s electoral commission for not gathering the required number of signatures. He accused the National Elections Commission (NEC) and the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) at the time of conspiring to exclude him from the election.
"The NEC did not want me in the race under pressure from the NCP and Bashir. They know I have wide support among my tribe, farmers, Sufi sects and expatriates" Ahmed’s father told the Sudan Tribune in 2010.
Bashir, who has ruled Sudan unchallenged for almost 26 years, has an outstanding warrant from the International Criminal Court for allegedly orchestrating war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity during the Darfur conflict in Sudan that raged on for years, starting in 2003. His country served as a sanctuary to Osama bin Laden for five years during the 1990s and the United States has imposed a variety of sanctions against Sudan, according to the Washington Post.
Ahmed posted a slew of images of his Sudan trip on his Twitter account, describing the visit as a homecoming. The teen also met with students in Qatar and traveled to Mecca with his family for umrah, or pilgrimage.
— Ahmed Mohamed (@IStandWithAhmed) October 13, 2015
— Ahmed Mohamed (@IStandWithAhmed) October 11, 2015
— Ahmed Mohamed (@IStandWithAhmed) October 10, 2015
Ahmed made global headlines last month when he was pulled from class and arrested after showing the homemade suitcase clock to teachers at his suburban Dallas high school. The unassigned project resembled a “hoax bomb” and prompted police to handcuff and briefly detain the teen clockmaker. Ahmed was released and no charges were filed against him after police determined there was no threat, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Ahmed became an overnight sensation with many showing their support on Twitter and Facebook, including Facebook founder and CEO himself, Mark Zuckerberg, U.S. President Barack Obama as well as U.S. presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
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