By INDIRA MOOSAI
Everyone knows George Clooney, the star of movies such as From Dusk Till Dawn and the Ocean’s trilogy. Not as many people know much about his wife, Amal Clooney, though her work is just as impressive. The pair have been getting news publicity recently since Amal Clooney’s private announcement in February that she is pregnant with twins. Despite the media’s coverage of Amal Clooney as simply a celebrity wife, she is a lawyer specializing in international law and human rights. In a perfect world, more reporting would be done on Amal’s professional work and her efforts to fight human rights violations in the Middle east, rather than her private family matters. However, it is not unheard of to not recognize people for their hard work.
As of now, Amal is working with Nadia Murad, a former Yazidi sex slave held by ISIS. According to Murad, ISIS raided her village, taking nearly 6,500 Yazidi women and children, and killed about 5,000 people. She was taken as a sex slave, and was raped repeatedly as a punishment for trying to escape. According to CNN, an estimated 3,000 Yazidis are believed to remain in captivity and are being sold into sex slavery as well. Amal told CNN that this is legal under ISIS rule, which commands that Yazidis can be taken as slaves, as they do not practice Islam.
Amal, who represents Murad, believes that it is wrong that there has not been a “single prosecution against ISIS in a court anywhere in the world for the crimes committed against the Yazidis… for any international crimes,” according to CNN. She said that it is time to bring ISIS to justice for committing some of the “worst crimes of our generation.”
The bravery of both Nadia Murad and Amal is incredible. To speak out after experiencing something as terrible as that is very difficult, for fear of being taken again, or of ISIS punishing her family, must be lingering in her mind. She realizes, however, that this may be the only way for ISIS to be brought to justice. I applaud Amal for taking on this daunting task. Not only does she present a concrete case, she presents a plan.
Amal told CNN that she is asking the Iraqi government and the United Nations to step in and conduct an investigation – all the Iraqi government has to do is send a letter to the Security Council saying, “Please establish an investigation.” She continued to present the fact that there is already a drafted resolution, ready to be sent; all they need to do is send it.
Though it is unfortunate that Amal has only recently garnered this attention due to her pregnancy, it is not entirely strange. Many people today, and throughout history, don’t get recognized for their work. For example, while Charles Darwin is credited for discovering the Theory of Evolution, another biologist named Alfred Russel Wallace made the same discovery. According to NPR, Wallace showed Darwin his findings, prompting Darwin to publish On the Origin of Species; they also published a joint paper arguing the theory of evolution and natural selection. However, Darwin is often credited for all of these achievements.
What’s most important now is that Amal Clooney’s work begins to be recognized, as it has by publications like CNN. I’m sure Amal is thankful for the awareness, as are those impacted by the human rights injustices and sex crimes committed by extremist groups. She must be tactful, and use this publicity to her advantage. The increased attention will put pressure on the Iraqi government, which is exactly what needs to be done to deal with ISIS. Amal is skillful in speaking up for those who cannot, and hopefully with her work comes great change.