Amal Clooney, wife of the actor George Clooney and an international human rights attorney, is working to increase the educational opportunities available to Lebanese women. In partnership with 100 Lives, an organization that works to educate people about genocide in Armenia, Clooney has created a scholarship that will be available to one woman each year.
Willa Frej from the Huffington Post writes that the scholarship is to be awarded annually at Dilijan, Armenia’s United World College. Those who win will be enrolled in an international baccalaurate program that lasts for two years.
WCVB’s Jackie Wattles shares that this program usually costs around $70,000. Clooney explained the importance of creating further educational opportunities for Lebanese girls and women:
“This scholarship will give young women from Lebanon the opportunity of a lifetime. Cross-cultural learning and studying abroad can be transformative. I am grateful to 100 Lives for helping to open doors for these bright and talented young women.”
Ruben Vardanyan, who is the co-founder of the United World College and 100 Lives, expressed his admiration for Clooney’s contributions:
“As a leading human rights barrister and campaigner, Amal Clooney is an inspirational role model for young women around the world. She exemplifies integrity, compassion, and dedication — and typifies what it means to be a global citizen across all cultures. 100 Lives recognizes the need for future generations to have greater cross-cultural understanding. The college strives to make education a force for peace by bringing together aspiring young leaders from all over the world.”
Harper’s Bazaar’s Rebecca Cope explains that both Amal and her husband George Clooney have close ties with the 100 Lives organization. George is the co-chairman of the inaugural Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, an award that he will be presenting in Armenia in April of 2016.
Located in Dilijan, Armenia, the participating school is a part of an entire network created by the United World College. Formed in 1961, the UWC has since grown to fifteen locations across the globe and plays host to students from over 180 countries. Winners are chosen based on their academic performance as well as by demonstrating an interest in promoting human rights and working on international issues.
Kristen Bellstrom of Fortune Magazine writes that Pamela Tebchrany is the first winner. She is a Lebanese woman who graduated at the top of her class and speaks three different languages fluently: English, French, and Arabic.
100 Lives is an organization that aims to recognize those who helped the Armenian people a century ago and to promote continued gratitude. The Armenian Genocide beginning in 1915 was carried out by the Ottoman government in what is now Turkey. Ethnic Armenians were systematically exterminated through and after World War I.
Estimates on the scale of the Armenian Genocide vary from 800,000 to 1,500,000 killed. 29 countries have officially recognized that the Armenian Genocide occurred, with robust debate and controversy surrounding the event continuing in Turkey.
In 2007, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan instructed the Turkish government to refer to the genocide as the “Events of 1915.”