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A Year Ago, Ahmed Mohamed Became ‘Clock Boy.’ Now, He Can’t Escape that Moment.

The news crew is here, but the famous boy is still asleep. He had just flown 22 hours, back to this squat stone house where he used to live when he was just a regular 14-year-old. His bright green go-kart is still out back. A year ago, he could have woken up and spent hours tinkering with its engine. He could have spent the day on his trampoline, or just watching funny YouTube videos on his phone.

Instead, he’s waking up to the sound of more reporters in the living room. Because he’s not Ahmed Mohamed, a regular 14-year-old. He’s Clock Boy, a viral sensation, the accidental embodiment of a national debate about Muslims being dangerous — or not. A black youth mistreated by overzealous cops — or an example of vigilance against potential terrorism.