Amal Clooney welcomes former President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, at Heathrow Airport.
Photo Credit: Reuters
With a grin on her face and designer sunglasses nestled in her hair; the impeccably dressed, tall and slender figure, rushes to give a very big hug to the arriving visitor. Amal Clooney, international human rights lawyer and activist was at Heathrow Airport on 21st January 2016, to welcome the former President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed into the UK after he was granted brief release from jail to undergo spine surgery.
At first glance, Amal’s appearance does not give away her reputation as a foremost lawyer. Infact it is easy for an unknowing spectator to mistake her for a supermodel, or a fashion magazine editor; but she is not. At 37 years of age, Mrs. Clooney has a reputation that precedes her- in a good way. Fluent in 3 languages and married to one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, she is a star in her own right. A lawyer at the Doughty Street Chambers, her clientele list includes countries and individuals…anyone she feels has had their valuable human rights trampled upon. She has represented Armenia against Turkey, and has also worked on the Cambodia-Thai border dispute that went before the ICC; she has represented Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, in his fight against extradition, and also represented Mohamed Fahmy, one of the 3 Al-Jazeera journalists previously jailed in Egypt. Fierce in her defense of Fahmy, she labeled the trial a “show-trial” and issued various statements calling for his release. Fahmy was eventually pardoned by Egypt’s President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Meeting with UK’s Prime Minister, David Cameron on Saturday, along with her client (Mohamed Nasheed), Amal urged the PM to use the Commonwealth Heads of Government’s meeting to call for the permanent release of Mr. Nasheed, the first democratically elected President of the Maldives, who was ousted in a military coup and sentenced to 13 years imprisonment on charges which have been termed as being “politically motivated” by much of the international community. On an interview on US television, she also mentioned that she has recently taken up the case of a female journalist in Azerbaijan, who was jailed for exposing regime corruption. Working on some of the toughest international human rights cases, Amal has met with everyone from members of the US Congress, to the UK Prime Minister, United Nations officials, Presidents, PM’s, and other high ranking government officials all around the world. A fierce defender of individual freedoms; such is the professional life of Amal Clooney.
Born in Lebanon to a prominent Druze family, Amal Clooney (nee Alamuddin) gets her influences from her parents. Both highly educated, her father is a prominent Lebanese citizen, and her mum is a foreign editor for Al-Hayat newspaper.
She is not a celebrity- so she claims. But we beg to differ. In 2014, she got married in a widely publicized event, to George Clooney. In addition to being a prominent international lawyer, and wife to a Hollywood powerhouse, Amal Clooney is also a style icon. She is always dressed smartly, classy, and occasion-appropriate. A huge fan of designer labels, Amal is usually spotted wearing outfits which cost upwards of thousands of pounds. She loves her sunglasses too. With clothes and accessories “on point”, she provides style inspiration to many fashion aficionados. But she never forgets who she is, or gets carried away by the glamor of her life. Showing up with her husband to the 2015 Golden Globes in the wake of the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris which left 12 people dead- including some of France’s most prominent journalists- she proudly displayed the “Je suis Charlie” pin on her Dior handbag.
|Amal Clooney at the 2015 Golden Globes with her husband, George, proudly displaying the "je suis charlie" pin on her Dior handbag.|
Beyond the glitz and glamor that trails her personal life, what has endeared so many to Amal, is her definitiveness of purpose. In an age where so many so-called celebrities use their status for mostly selfish purposes, Amal uses her unique position to champion the cause that is most important to her- human rights. A “darling of the media”, she recognizes this, and uses it to her advantage in her various campaigns for justice. And in so doing, she reminds us of another celebrity figure, who is also a champion of worthy causes- Angelina Jolie. Amal is as brave as she is beautiful…as smart as she is sensual and seductive…and as dogged and determined as she is delicate and delightsome! Aptly (and fondly) referred to as the “smarty-pants of the family” by her darling husband George, Amal Clooney is a well-blended mix of style and activism that is not often seen in individuals. She is also a philanthropist, creating a scholarship which sends one female Lebanese student each year to college in Dilijan, for a 2year international scholarship programme.
Amal Clooney is a rare gem, a true inspiration, and we can only wish her the best as she continues to champion the cause for human rights all around the world. She coyly states that she does not see herself as a celebrity, but also adds realistically that “if there’s more attention paid for whatever reason, then I think it’s good”. Ride on Mrs. Clooney; we think same too.