The weekend is here, and so is your good news kickoff:
The Muslim Student Who Was Suspended for Bringing a Homemade Clock to School Got Support from Everyone—Including President Obama and NASA
Earlier this week, 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was arrested and suspended from school when a teacher mistook his homemade clock for a bomb. When the story—along with a picture of a very upset and confused Ahmed—hit social media, it caused an uproar. Many people claimed the school only viewed the teen as a threat because he is Muslim. Hundreds of thousands of people tweeted in support of Ahmed, using the #IStandWithAhmed hashtag. Even President Obama reached out, inviting Ahmed to visit the White House.
Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg posted a message to him, as well. “Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest,” he wrote. “The future belongs to people like Ahmed. Ahmed, if you ever want to come by Facebook, I’d love to meet you. Keep building.” Ahmed was wearing a NASA shirt when he was arrested, and NASA, the International Space Station and several astronauts tweeted their support, as well. The incident may have been a step backward for Ahmed’s school administrators, but it seemed like a leap forward for Internet kindness.
Rightfully, the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East has attracted a ton of attention recently. And along with all the heartbreaking stories, there have also been stories of individual and country-wide kindness. This week, Naguib Sawiris, an Egyptian Coptic Christian who is worth roughly $3 billion, announced his plan to buy an Island to house Syrian refugees. There’s no telling whether the idea will pan out, but Sawiris seems to be moving forward with it. “I cannot just sit like that and just do nothing, you know, and pretend it’s not my problem,” he told CNN.
Meanwhile, a Norwegian billionaire who owns a chain of hotels in Scandanavia has pledged 5,000 free nights to refugees who need a place to stay until they can find something more permanent.
Ryan Weimer’s son wanted to be in costume contest. The boy also needs a wheelchair to get around. So Weimer did the amazing thing and built a costume that incorporated the chair as a pirate ship. The costume not only scored Keaton some mad candy (we’re assuming), but it ended up on the front page of Portland, Oregon, newspaper. That was back in 2008. Now, Weimer has started a nonprofit that gives kids in wheelchairs pretty much the coolest costumes ever.
After a student at Devils Lake High School in North Dakota committed suicide, fellow student Desi Frith determined to remind her peers that they’re loved and supported. “I got a bunch of sticky notes, and I started putting them up the first week of school, and then I do it once a week,” she say. That’s right, she spends an hour and a half after school every week to write hundreds of messages to fellow students—stuff like “Stay strong. Never give up. You can make it in this world. You belong here.” Then, she leaving her notes on lockers or walls or anywhere where students will find them. She says: “If they are going through something hard, and then they see one of them, it shows that somebody cares.”
The owner of SpaceX Elon officially asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for permission to launch a 4000 satellites into orbit. Why? The orbiting network of satellites could bring Internet to places on earth where it’s never been—and to people who’ve never had it. Honestly, there’s a ton of stuff we don’t understand about the plane, but we know it’s awesome.
Dargan is a former RELEVANT editor turned freelancer. Find her online at darganthompson.com or follow her extremely random train of thought on Twitter @darganthompson.