DALLAS — After a nine-month stay in Qatar, Ahmed Mohamed returned to Texas this week with a deeper appreciation for his religion and a thicker skin.

He’s no longer surprised when people recognize him since his arrest at Irving’s MacArthur High School in September, when a homemade clock he brought to school was mistaken for a bomb.

It wasn’t until family members in Africa reached out that he realized his arrest made news not only in Texas, but across the world.

After photos of Ahmed in handcuffs went viral, a national uproar began about the treatment of Muslims in the U.S. and made him think about how he could use the incident to teach others.

“I want to help change Texas for a better state, and I hope that not just for Texas, but the entire world,” Ahmed said this week from Irving, where he’s returned for the summer. “People sometimes don’t want to admit their mistakes, and sometimes the best thing to do is to help them change.”

The amount of support he received through social media surprised him, Ahmed said.

He has received hateful comments as well, but he tries not to let negativity faze him. Online threats have made him nervous, and the rest of his family tries to stay out of the spotlight, he said.

While he’s in the U.S., he plans to take up invitations to visit well-known companies that followed in the wake of his arrest, even if he gets some negative attention along the way.

He will get a chance to thank some social media giants in person later this summer when he visits Facebook and Twitter headquarters.