Amal Clooney (née Alamuddin; Arabic: أمل علم الدين; born 3 February 1978) is a Lebanese-British barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, specializing in international law and human rights.
Her clients include Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, in his fight against extradition, the former prime minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, Egyptian-Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy, and Nobel Prize laureate Nadia Murad.
In 2019, Amal was appointed the special envoy on media freedom by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Amal Alamuddin was born in Beirut, Lebanon. Her first name is derived from Arabic أمل ʾamal, meaning “hope”.
Her family left Lebanon when she was two years old, during the Lebanese Civil War, and settled in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire.
Her father, Ramzi Alam Uddin, from a Lebanese Druze family from Baakline (a village in the Chouf district), received his MBA degree at the American University of Beirut and was the owner of COMET travel agency. He returned to Lebanon in 1991.
Her mother, Bariaa Miknass, from a family of Sunni Muslims from Tripoli in Northern Lebanon, is a foreign editor of the Pan-Arab newspaper al-Hayat and a founder of the public relations company International Communication Experts, which is part of a larger company that specializes in celebrity guest bookings, publicity photography, and event promotion.
Amal’s mother, Baria Alamuddin, is a well-known political journalist. She states, “My pregnancy with Amal was a rather difficult one,” as she had placenta praevia and spent two months in the hospital. “At some point, I was told that I should lose the baby. I said no. I kept on having these dreams in which I would see her face and how she was going to look. In the end, [she] was born exactly as I saw her.” The birth came during a lull in Lebanon’s civil war, so her father named her Amal – Arabic for “hope.”
Amal has three siblings—one sister, Tala, and two half-brothers, Samer and Ziad, from her father’s first marriage.