The human rights lawyer opened up about gun violence, workplace equality and where her twins will go to school in a rare interview.
She recently donated a whopping US$500,000 (Dhs1.8 million) to help fund a march against gun violence in the United States.
And now Amal Clooney has revealed she was “blown away” by the students who have organised the March for our Lives rally, adding: “I think they are doing an amazing job turning a tragedy into advocacy.”
The British-Lebanese human rights lawyer spoke about the March 24 event during her appearance at Friday’s Watermark Conference For Women, which was held in California.
The Beirut-born philanthropist, who will take part in the march with actor and producer husband George next month, was quizzed on her donation to the event, which was launched following the devastating attack at a school in Florida that claimed 17 lives on February 14.
“It’s only been a week since this happened and I’m in awe of how courageous they are and how effective they are. I would have never have had the presence of mind or the courage at 16 years old, let alone having just gone through what they have, to be able to stand face to face with the president, a senator, the NRA, and answer these tough questions,” Amal said, according to the Daily Mail.
“They are the best vehicle and best hope for change. I really hope that they will succeed and make a meaningful difference.”
The lawyer also revealed the cause was so important for her and George as “my children are very lucky to go to school [in the US] and I know their lives will literally depend on it”.
“The march we’re attending, it’s their march. They are the ones that are going to be speaking, and if someone tries to tell them what the reality is, their response should be, ‘Well, I was the one hiding in the closet a week ago, so let me tell you how I feel and this is what would make me feel safe.’ Watching them gives me a lot of hope.”
The couple made the donation in the name of their twins, Alexander and Ella, whom they welcomed last June, and their move spurned similar pledges from their fellow celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg, who each matched the US$500,000 donation.
Last year the couple also pledged Dhs9.18 million towards helping educate Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Dhs3.67 million towards fighting hate groups in the US.
During the conference, Amal also opened up about her views on several global issues, telling host Kelly McEvers that she was inspired to become a lawyer because she “liked the idea of litigation as a way to get to the truth”.
According to Watermark’s Twitter account, the attorney told attendees that “people don’t choose to become refugees”.
“People don’t choose to become refugees. They are just victims of war or circumstance.” Amal Clooney #WatermarkConf
— Watermark (@wtrmrk) February 23, 2018
“They are just victims of war or circumstance,” Amal, who has been working to bring justice to Yazidi refugees persecuted by ISIS for years, said to a rapt audience.
The Clooneys have even welcomed an Iraqi refugee into their Kentucky home, and helped him study in the US.
When quizzed on the importance of bringing groups like ISIS to trial, the lawyer added “you have to kill the idea behind the movement”.
“It shouldn’t be the case that if you kill one person, you go on trial, but if you kill thousands, the world just shrugs,” Amal said, according to Watermark’s Twitter account.
The 40-year-old also touched on workplace equality and the gender pay gap, revealing she believes “we have a right to transparency so we know what we’re getting and we can go elsewhere”.
Amal also offered up some advice for younger women, encouraging the next generation to “be persistent” and “follow your passion”.
“It doesn’t matter if you don’t exactly know where you’re going to end up.”
That’s a message we can most certainly get behind.