Friday night marked the international human rights lawyer’s first appearance in (and first ever visit to) Toronto. Amal Clooney was here as part of Luminato, the city’s international arts festival, in an event in partnership with the Economic Club of Canada. Sophie Gregoire Trudeau opened the evening.
Speaking “in conversation with” her father-in-law, veteran broadcaster Nick Clooney, Amal Clooney touched on a highlight reel of some of the world issues she has championed, including the refugee crisis, the March For Our Lives movement, fighting sexual violence against women and the freedom of the press. She also weighed in on the U.S. separation of immigrant children from their families.
“It’s shameful. It’s not just illegal, it’s immoral,” said Lebanese-British Clooney, before attacking the recent executive order signed by U.S. President Donald Trump for “not solving the problem” and continuing the “zero tolerance” policy, which she said is “really zero humanity.”
“I am a refugee,” Amal Clooney said to a pin-drop quiet Roy Thomson Hall. “If I had not had a hand extended to me by the U.K. government when my family was escaping the war in Lebanon, I wouldn’t have been able to grow up in a safe environment, get the education I have, or do any of the things that I have done.”
And then, to loud applause from the sold-out crowd: “I am so grateful to have been able to enter a country that showed compassion to me. I wish that were happening in more places around the world.”
“Before, I had a flat in Notting Hill, and George would say ‘but the door opens onto the street!’” she laughed. “The paparazzi would be right outside.” Of course, when she chose that apartment, because of its proximity to her favourite Italian restaurant and Portobello Market, she couldn’t have dreamed she’d one day have paparazzi following her every move. “Hey, I’ve seen that movie,” Nick quipped, referring to the 1999 rom-com Notting Hill about a man who falls in love with a famous celebrity and instantly gets pushed into the spotlight. “Things changed quite dramatically,” Amal conceded.
Amal Clooney wore an OSCAR DE LA RENTA
Polka Dot Day Dress
All pictures via Twitter feed