Amal Clooney (neé Alamuddin)

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With her cascade of lustrous hair and eyes the size of saucers Amal Alamuddin easily stands out in a crowd. Even more impressive than her looks, however, is her stellar career as a human rights lawyer, who has advised the UN. The woman George Clooney has chosen to be his wife is the eldest of four children born to Ramzi Alamuddin, a university professor, and his ex-wife Baria, a respected journalist and foreign affairs commentator. Amal was born in Beirut on 3, February, 1978, followed by sister Tala and brothers Samer and Ziad.

The family moved to Buckinghamshire during the Eighties when the Lebanese civil war was at its fiercest. Educated at a girls' grammar school, she won a scholarship to Oxford where she achived a 2:1 in law, then went on to study at New York University School of Law before returning to the UK in 2010.

Until 2013, when she crossed paths with the movie star, the Oxford graduate was known only in certain professional circles.

Amal and George were introduced by a mutual friend at a charity event and he supposedly pursued her single-mindedly until she agreed to go out with him.

He was attracted by the British barrister's independent spirit and ability to laugh at herself. Sources describe Amal as someone who "takes her work seriously, but doesn't take herself too seriously".  This was clear to anyone who saw her out and about dressed in her signature fun, quirky style.

In April 2014, when it was announced that George had asked for her hand in marriage with an exquisite 7-ct diamond, worth an estimated £445,000. The following September, in scenes that could have been taken from one of his movies, the couple took over Venice's waterways to host four days of lavish wedding celebrations.

Landing Hollywood's hottest bachelor might have made her the envy of women around the world, but colleagues gave her their full support. British legal circles were unanimous with their congratulations.

"The woman is a brilliant lawyer, jaw-droppingly beautiful, perspicacious, principled, passionate about human rights, " said writer Kathy Lette, wife of Geoffrey Robertson, the head of Amal's chamber.

She added: "She's wise, witty, generous, a woman's woman, a good laugh, and great fun. George Clooney is very, very lucky to have her."

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