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Amal Clooney launches scholarship for Lebanese girls

Amal Clooney brought her philanthropy back home with a scholarship program aimed at helping girls in her native Lebanon.

The international human rights attorney, who is married to Oscar-winning producer George Clooney, has partnered with 100 Lives, a new global initiative working to bring attention to the events of the Armenian genocide, to launch the Amal Clooney Scholarship. The program will send one female student from Lebanon to United World College in Dilijan, Armenia, each year to enroll in a two-year international baccalaureate program.

"This scholarship will give young women from Lebanon the opportunity of a lifetime," the British barrister said in a statement. "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."

Participants will be chosen each year "based on their exemplary academic performance and demonstrable interest in the promotion of human rights and international issues," the statement said.

Clooney, 37, and 100 Lives launched the scholarship to strengthen cross-cultural education and understanding through collaborative social and philanthropic projects, the statement said. The university is an international co-ed boarding school that hosts students from 64 countries.

Lebanese student Pamela Tebchrany, who graduated at the top of her class and is fluent in Arabic, French and English, is the scholarship's first recipient and plans to pursue her interests in human rights and women's equality.

Earlier this year, Clooney presented an Armenian appeal in the European Court of Human Rights in which she accused Turkey of double standards on freedom of expression for defending Turkish politician and genocide-denier Dogu Perincek. In October, the court ruled that Perincek had the right to deny that the 1915 massacre during the Ottoman Empire's rule was a genocide.

George Clooney, who is a fierce proponent of Sudan and has worked to bring attention to the Armenian genocide through his Not On Our Watch foundation, also serves as co-chair of 100 Lives' annual Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, a $1-million global humanitarian prize that recognizes those who put themselves at risk to enable others to survive. The actor-director will present the inaugural award in Yerevan on April 24.

Follow me on Twitter @NardineSaad.

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