The MIT Facilities Office removed the clock shortly before 11:00 a.m.
In less than two weeks, 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed went from an anonymous Texas high school student to cultural phenomenon.
On September 14, Mohamed was arrested by police who mistook the ninth grader’s self-made electronic clock for a homemade bomb. Within days, the story was viral, buoyed by support from President Barack Obama, who invited Mohamed to the White House; Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who extended an invite to Facebook headquarters; and members of the MIT community, including MIT President L. Rafael Reif. (Mohamed responded, via Twitter, that MIT was his “dream school.”)
On campus, the MIT community lent their support in the most MIT way possible: a hack. In the early morning of September 18, hackers created their own homemade electronic clock and placed it in Lobby 7, directly above the entrance to the Infinite Corridor. The clock was accompanied by a banner reading “#ISTANDWITHAHMED,” the ubiquitous hashtag that has accompanied Mohamed’s story.
The hack was removed by late morning but Jose Gomez-Marquez, a designer in the Little Devices @ MIT lab, was able to document the hack and shared his photos with Slice of MIT.
Call it a prank with purpose.
All images via Jose Gomez-Marquez.