Facts about Amal Clooney

Amal Clooney is 39 years old
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon
Best known as: The international lawyer who married George Clooney

     

Amal Clooney Biography

Name at birth: Amal Alamuddin

Amal Clooney is the accomplished British barrister and human rights activist who married actor George Clooney in 2014.

Amal Clooney was born Amal Alamuddin in Beirut in 1978; her family were prominent in the Druze community there, but left Lebanon during the country’s long civil war and settled in London while Amal was still a girl. She attended Oxford University (St. Hugh’s College), earning a degree in law in 2000, then earned a further law degree from New York University.

Her career began at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York, where she specialized in criminal defense and investigations while working for clients including Arthur Andersen and the ill-fated energy company Enron. But she began moving into international law and human rights, working in prosecutor’s ofice at the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon and at the International Criminal Tribunal for (the former) Yugoslavia.

In 2010, she was hired by London’s prestigious Doughty Street Chambers, which describes itself as “probably the largest and most wide-ranging civil liberties legal practice in the world.” Since then her impressively lengthy resume has included representing Yulia Tymoshenko, the former Ukrainian prime minister, regarding her prosecution in that country; representing Cambodia in a Cambodian-Thai border dispute; taking part in a European Court of Human Rights case about recognition of the Armenian Genocide; advising Greece in its efforts to win the return of the Parthenon Marbles (aka the Elgin Marbles) from the United Kingdom; serving on various United Nations commissions (including as advisor to Kofi Annan in his work as Special Envoy for Syria, and as counsel to the UN inquiry on the use of armed drones); and representing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange during his U.K. extradition proceedings.

She became well-known for both her brains and her looks; the whimsical blog Your Barrister Boyfriend named her London’s hottest female barrister in 2013. That same year she met George Clooney at a charity fundraiser in Venice, Italy; the two began dating, and their engagement in 2014 was one of the most-covered entertainment stories of the year. They were married on 27 September 2014 at the city hall in Venice, and she took the name of Amal Clooney. Their children, twins named Ella and Alexander, were born on June 6, 2017.

She has also been a visiting professor at Columbia Law School and is the co-author of the books The Special Tribunal for Lebanon: Law and Practice (2014) and The Right to a Fair Trial in International Law (due in 2016).

Extra credit

Amal Clooney speaks English, French and Arabic… She was a student clerk for future Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor when Sotomayor was an Appeals Court judge… NBC News called Amal Clooney “a star among the Druze community” in 2014. Per Wikipedia, the Druze are an “ethnoreligious esoteric group originating from the Near East who self identify as unitarians (Muwahhideen). The Lebanese Druze people are believed to constitute about 5% of the total population of Lebanon. The Druze, who refer to themselves as al-Muwahhideen, or ‘believers in one God,’ are concentrated in the rural, mountainous areas east and south of Beirut. Under the Lebanese political division (Parliament of Lebanon Seat Allocation) the Druze community is designated as one of the five Lebanese Muslim communities (Sunni, Shia, Druze, Alawi, and Ismaili).”  However, because they do not follow the Five Pillars of Islam, fast during Ramadan or make pilgrimages to Mecca, “they are not regarded by Muslims as Islamic.”


     

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