Since George Clooney's surprise engagement to Beirut-born lawyer Amal Alamuddin was revealed last week, the Arab media has gone gaga for its new star, claiming bragging rights over the woman who convinced one of Hollywood's most legendary bachelors to settle down.
"Many Lebanese women are on cloud nine over the news that one of their own has tamed the perpetual bachelor after two decades of singlehood," pan-Arab news service Al Arabiya
reported. "The Clooney-Alamuddin engagement promises the wedding of the century."
touted Alamuddin as an Anne Hathaway look-alike and noted that she was voted London's hottest barrister in 2013, while pan-Arab news site Al Bawaba
referred to her as "George Clooney's Lebanese princess."
Aside from references to the "raven-haired beauty," publications like Lebanon's Daily Star
were also quick to emphasize Alamuddin's many career accomplishments.
The 36-year-old Oxford-educated human rights lawyer is the daughter of Druse parents, and moved with her family from Lebanon to the United Kingdom when she was two years old, according to Arab media sources.
She has represented several high profile and often controversial clients such as Wikileaks' Julian Assange and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the Star
reported. She also defended Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi at the ICC in 2011 following the fall of Libya.
More recently, Alamuddin acted as legal adviser to former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who was the UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria.
Her mother is a senior correspondent for the Lebanese newspaper Al-Hayat
, and her father is a retired business professor at the American University in Beirut, Al Arabiya
Clooney was previously married to the actress Talia Balsam and has said that he would never marry again. Last September he told Esquire
magazine: “I haven’t had aspirations in that way, ever. I was married in 1989. I wasn’t very good at it.”
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