Amal Clooney, a high profile human rights lawyer and the wife of actor George Clooney, is taking a stand against the Islamic State group.
Amal Clooney gave a speech at the United Nations Monday introducing the UN's newest Goodwill Ambassador and detailing the horrors of ISIS' human trafficking practices. Nadia Murad, Amal Clooney's client, was a 21-year-old student in Iraq when ISIS invaded her village in 2014. Her parents and brother were killed while she was forced into sex slavery by the terror group. Amal Clooney spoke passionately about the need to end ISIS' human trafficking, claiming the militants are committing genocide against Murad's Yazidi people.
"[Murad was just] one of 6,700 Yazidis taken by ISIS two summers ago to be sold in markets and on Facebook for $20 or more," Amal Clooney said, according to People. "Nadia’s mother was one of 80 older women who were executed and buried in an unmarked grave, her brothers part of a group of 600 who were murdered in a single day."
This is far from the first time Amal Clooney has been on the side of justice on a major international stage. Here are eight things to know about Amal Clooney:
1. Oxford Girl
Amal Clooney is a high profile barrister in London and she has an impressive educational pedigree. She attended the United Kingdom's Oxford University, where she graduated in 2000 with a degree in Jurisprudence (the Oxford equivalent to the LLB or a pre-law degree), before moving on to New York University for law school.
2. Sonia Sotomayor
While at NYU, Amal Clooney spent a semester working as a student law clerk at the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The judge she clerked for was Sonia Sotomayor, whom President Barack Obama appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States in 2009. Sotomayor and Amal Clooney have apparently stayed in touch. The pair was spotted having dinner together, along with George Clooney, in New York City last year.
3. Doughty Street
After a couple years spent clerking in the United States, Amal Clooney returned to Britain in 2010 to work for the prestigious Doughty Street Chambers in London where, according to her company profile page, she specialized in international law, human rights, extradition and criminal law. The lawyer worked on many high profile cases, including representing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in extradition proceedings in Sweden.
4. Al Jazeera
In 2014, Amal Clooney represented Canadian Al Jazeera war correspondent Mohamed Fahmy who, along with two other journalists, was being held in Egypt under accusations of reporting false news. Amal Clooney fought to exonerate Fahmy and allow him to return home. Fahmy was eventually sentenced to three years in prison and lost a retrial in August 2015 before finally being pardoned by Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
5. Armenian Genocide
Both Amal and George Clooney have been strong advocates for the Armenian people in seeking justice for the Armenian genocide, in which as many as 1.5 million Armenians died at the hands of the Ottoman Turks from 1915 to 1923. In January 2015, Amal Clooney went up against Doğu Perinçek, the Turkish Workers' Party chairman, in a French court hearing accusing Perinçek of racial discrimination case by claiming the Armenian genocide never happened — many in Turkey have argued that the death toll was not only exaggerated but also a result of civil war, not genocide. The Grand Chamber ruled in favor of Amal Clooney in the case.
Amal Clooney is not only a lawyer but also a published author. As Amal Alamuddin, her maiden name, she was the co-editor of the legal text “The Law and Practice of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.” She also wrote several articles on international criminal law published by Oxford University Press, according to ABC.
7. George Clooney
While Amal Clooney is an esteemed lawyer in her own right, the reason she has become such a pop culture fixture is her marriage to Oscar-winning actor and director George Clooney. George Clooney had famously been a self-proclaimed lifelong bachelor, ironically telling Barbara Waters in a 1995 interview that he would never marry again after a failed marriage in the early 1990s. Amal Alamuddin changed his mind. The two were first romantically linked in October 2013 when they were spotted out together in London. George Clooney proposed to Alamuddin on the following April and the couple were married in September 2014 in Venice, Italy.
Amal Clooney is fluent in English, Arabic and French, which probably comes in handy defending high profile clients all over the world.