If Amal Alamuddin can bag George Clooney, so can we!

Published: May 4, 2014
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So, Mr Clooney, how does it feel to be on the other side of the coin? PHOTO: AFP

Dear Mr Clooney, 

To most of us, Amal Alamuddin was just another name – she could be a friend, a neighbour or another acquaintance. But what we really didn’t know was that this name would one day be linked to you.

We would have never guessed that you of all people, the fantastic silver fox of Hollywood, would tie the knot and that too overnight! She is engaged to you, the ‘world’s sexiest man’ and one of the most sought-after bachelors. I hope your ego has taken a huge boost while you read this. She has set the standard so high that if we had to let go of generations of infatuation, we would be glad that we’ve lost you to her. Because we approve!

You need to know that Ms Alamuddin has made the entire Muslim community, which is usually under fire for some reason or the other, proud. And not just the Muslim community but even the world’s working female populace.

Do you have any idea how hard it is for a woman to work and then come home just in time to set food on the table? And are we thanked for it?

No.

But ultimately this is the price we have to pay. We, women, juggle priorities for most of our lives and for women who make their careers their first priority, you have made this sacrifice worth it.

I think women today can’t decide whether to be jealous of Ms Alamuddin or Ms Alamuddin’s curriculum vitae (CV).  You are betrothed to a woman who has not only advised Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the United Nations (UN) and who acts now as a joint special envoy of the UN and Arab League on Syria (huge deal by the way) but also represented the controversial Wikileaks founder and king of the free media movement, Julian Assange.

I mean how many women can come home and when asked about their day say,

“Nothing much, I just represented Ukraine’s former prime minister.”

Or

“Yeah, the day was okay. I am now heading the committee that is investigating an assassination, no big deal.”

Well, it may not be a big deal for you Ms Alamuddin but such an impressive CV makes me want to work even harder and beat this record. I don’t want to merely come home and rant to my parents about how my boss makes me do coffee runs every half hour, especially, since potential suitors are no longer on the horizon.

So, Mr Clooney, I hope you understand what you are getting yourself into. Ms Alamuddin is not one of your usual conquests. She isn’t blonde, a waitress and isn’t vaguely familiar. The pressure is on you though because she is one of Britain’s most eligible bachelorettes and was recently voted London’s hottest lawyer. She has so many credits to her name that it makes me wonder if you haven’t already developed an inferiority complex.

Even if you haven’t developed one yet, don’t worry, it’s quite inevitable.

Mr Clooney, how does it feel to be on the other side of the coin? After all, there is always a first time for everything.

As for us Pakistani women, we still dream those old-fashioned thoughts which make headway in our lives through the preposterous rishta aunties (matchmakers). Do you know the notorious demands we have to meet?

  • Lose weight – size zero is the new size two.
  • Learn how to cook (and cook well!)
  • Wear a dupatta at all times (and properly!)
  • Marriage comes first; study later (if you really, really have to).

I hope you understand now, how hard it is being a girl in Pakistan where marriage usually takes precedence over everything so much so that when my grandmother prays for me, she doesn’t pray for a successful career, a financially independent life or even a bright future; the only thing she prays for is a ‘good’ husband – as if all the wrongs will automatically become right as soon as I get married.

Unfortunately, such is the Pakistani mentality.

But not for Ms Alamuddin. With a Bachelor of Law (LLB) from Oxford University, a Master of Law (LLM) from New York University and a Bar of England and Wales (Inner Temple), she makes success look effortless. Kudos to her! And I wish my grandmother could pray for these things instead!

So, tell me Mr Clooney, how was your first date? What did you guys talk about? What convinced you she was the one? I know for one, I could surely use the help.

I hope she didn’t use her top-notch barrister skills to seal the deal or serenade you bilingually. Note to self – knowing languages other than Urdu and English is always a plus.

Did you meet her parents? Did you charm them? Did you portray the charismatic Danny Ocean in Ocean’s Eleven or the lovable Matt King in The DescendantsDid she serve you tea?

I’m asking because well, here in Pakistan, ‘tea serving’ plays a major role in marriage forays and hence, I assumed she might have done the same. But I guess she’s a Lebanese human rights lawyer engaged to the gorgeous ‘you’ so she’s already broken all stereotypes, right?

For what it’s worth Mr Clooney, do thank Ms Alamuddin on our behalf for showing us how to master the art of success so skilfully. Practicing law, defending ex-prime ministers and coming home to cook a meal, she really knows how to bake a cake and eat it too!

And if she can do it, so can we. Take that, you doubtful rishta aunties!

She is a rich, influential, engaged woman and is still at the top of her game. It makes me wonder if we have been doing it all wrong this whole time; who knows, had we tried to forget the nagging rishta aunties, we might have been with our own ‘George Clooneys’ by now!

Sincerely,

Big dreams, tall ambitions and hot on the market for rishta aunties.

Zehra Qureshi

Zehra Qureshi

A law student who has interests as diverse as International relations and celebrity grapevine. She tweets @zehraque (twitter.com/zehraque)

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