Amal Clooney-The Master of Juggling Different Worlds with Phenomenal Poise
By Emiliya Strahilova/Arab America Contributing Writer
She has two passports, several homes, a number of occupations, a pair of twins, and countless immaculate outfits. Amal Alamuddin Clooney carries duality even in her name-first, she is Amal, a gorgeous woman of Lebanese Arab descent who is an internationally recognized human rights lawyer, and then, she is Clooney, everybody knows why.
So how does she handle all that? There are multiple examples of brilliant professionals in academic circles but they are not perfect in being celebrities too. Not to mention Amal Clooney’s zealous dedication to solving some of the toughest problems that exist globally. It all awes us and makes us wonder if she is a real human. We investigated and asked four Arab American women from different fields for their opinion and here is what we found out.
Intense Focus on Studies
Clearly, this is not an extraordinary discovery. Still, it’s worth noting: Amal earned a scholarship at Oxford University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence. Later on, Amal finished her Master degree at NYU School of Law. She continued her training by doing clerkships in both the International Court of Justice and The United States Court of Appeals. She passed the bar in 2002 which puts her at 6 years of persistent studying, focus, and complete devotion.
Considering the results she achieved. Amal Clooney apparently received the approval of prominent leaders in her field. Isn’t that fun? Maybe, to some extent, but probably not all the time. Amal claims that she has always been passionate about human rights and that she was enjoying her lifestyle. Is being conscious of human rights a human thing? It seems so.
Arab America contributing writer and blogger, Myrna Daher, validates Amal Clooney’s efforts: “She has made a strong voice for herself and has completely impressed the UK with her brilliant and unique style in her law practice. Amal has also captured the attention of her country of origin, Lebanon; several articles were written about her and her success.”
Pride in Lebanese Roots
Amal Clooney is not an exception to that rule. We don’t hear her bragging about the marvelous mountains and the supreme food of Lebanon in public, yet, she chose to live and work in her hometown for a while; she speaks Arabic and is involved with burning issues of concern in the Arab world. She is close to her extended Lebanese family and there are rumors that Amal and George Clooney’s children might be getting raised in the Lebanese tradition. George Clooney, who is more outspoken in front of journalists, reveals how Amal told him stories about her culture and how fascinated and eager he is to visit Lebanon. The actor, together with the lawyer, has formed a dynamic partnership which advocates heavily for education in Lebanon.
Dr. Hoda Amine, who is a Detroit based mental health specialist called Amal Clooney an excellent example for Arab American women. She adds: “Amal has the beauty and the brain and she tactfully uses these features to her advantage; she’s always radiant, fashionable, and poised. She is a successful activist for human rights who truly care about justice and safety for the underprivileged.”
Moreover, Amine states “Knowing how Amal’s family are close to their culture, this will help Amal raise her children with bi-cultural values and ethics.”
Amal Clooney carries the dignity of being Lebanese but it’s only natural that she also strives to improve the place she came from.
The Power Couple
There are many jokes about George Clooney being the husband of much more significant Amal. We don’t like putting them into a competition; they are both valuable in what they do and equally charismatic. It must be a hard task for people with such high profile and intense careers to find time to build their own intimate world together. “It’s the one thing in life that I think is the biggest determinant of happiness, and it’s the thing you have the least control over,” Amal says in a recent interview for Vogue. “Are you going to meet this person? I was 35 when I met him. It wasn’t obvious that it was going to happen for me.” A dream came true for both of them and they found each other. Now they have children and they look even better. To them, it’s very realistic to have a happy family and a positive public image at the same time.
George Clooney participated in humanitarian initiatives in the past but after meeting Amal, he exceeded in activism; nevertheless, his fame grew, as well as the frequency of his appearance in media. Amal’s name, despite her professional accomplishments, became favored after her relationship with George Clooney started. Even if she doesn’t want to highlight it, thanks to her celebrity status, many of the causes she has always fought about, became amplified.
As businesslike as it sounds, Amal and George benefited from each other.
Amal Clooney is specializing in international human rights law and currently works as a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers. Prior to joining the London Bar, Mrs. Clooney worked in The Hague with various UN-sponsored justice initiatives including the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Some of her most memorable cases are-Mohamed Nasheed and The Maldives, Yazidi genocide perpetrated by ISIS and the detaining of Al Jazeera journalist, Mohamed Fahmy in Egypt. In her spare time, she teaches at the Human Rights Institute at Columbia University in New York.
Is Amal Clooney a saint and always right?
In some instances, she is blamed for not being progressive enough on the Palestinian crisis, maybe this is happening because there’s a price to pay for being ambitious and wanting to stay connected to influential people. Dr. Hoda Amine summarizes it: “Amal is just like any famous person, those who like her promote her, and those who don’t, won’t give her credit for her efforts and achievements. Of course, she has faults just like anyone, although, she seems to represent high caliber personalities and political figures; her deeds supersede her faults. An example is her recent monetary contribution ($500,000) to the anti-gun violence campaign.”Balancing between home, popularity, and work is not impossible.
Regarding Amal’s skill in balancing her life, Arab American journalist and filmmaker, Arwa Sawan comments: “Of course Amal has the smarts to do it all, but I can still assume that she utilizes needed support from her husband, her family, and other resources to balance her professional career, activism, and family life. I do not believe that she will have any problem to balance her career with rearing children.”
The Fashion Icon
We just can’t help it, we follow each new look. There’s a website breaking down all of Amal Clooney’s outfits and it’s being updated daily. We thought it’s superficial but it’s not because this woman has a tremendous talent for choosing what to wear. She literally conquered all the fashion magazines in the world. Furthermore, her job is not artistic, and she is her own stylist. All that takes a lot of time for shopping, fitting, and vanity.
When does she find the time? Well, that remains a mystery but the results are mind-blowing. Amal Clooney’ s imagination and elegance are remarkable and we wonder if these qualities are not a sign that she’s too focused on herself. Arwa Sawan explains why this is not the case: “Amal does not seem to seek publicity to promote herself or to live a glamorous life. She works to promote human rights issues against injustice, hate, and bigotry. Amal’s dedication to helping others provides clear evidence that her priority is to focus on human rights issues to include women struggles around the world.”
Summing it all up, Arab American women take pride in Amal Clooney and view her as a human being who sets high standards and follows them. They tend to forgive her faults (if she has any) and hope that she will continue to be outstanding and strong enough to address women’s issues and help to unravel more conflicts in the Middle East.
Here is what Natale Issa, an Arab American communications expert concludes: “Amal Clooney does address some Arab issues, but often under a different banner. For example, when she speaks publicly about her work with the Yazidi community, she often frames it as a women’s issue. While I don’t believe it’s her obligation as an Arab to champion Arab issues, I would be proud to see her use her platform to bring attention to them, especially as they are deeply misunderstood in the US. I would also love to see her generally embrace her Lebanese identity more in public and take an active role in the community. The Arab community in America continues to face prejudice and stereotyping, and someone like Amal Clooney can help to correct those perceptions.”