EXCLUSIVE - 'She can do better': Amal Alamuddin's mother 'is unimpressed with George Clooney and wants daughter to marry within their strict Lebanese religious sect'

  • Baria Alamuddin has been 'telling half of Beirut' that she wanted daughter to marry within the Druze sect
  • Druze is a medieval offshoot of Islam and followers are forbidden to marry outsiders
  • A family friend told MailOnline: She believes that Amal can do better'
  • However, as pictures today appeared of Baria strolling in Italian sunshine with star's mom Nina Clooney, it seems she has been won over

By Hannah Roberts In Italy and Sara Nathan

Most mothers would be shouting from the rooftops if their daughter snagged George Clooney.

But the mom of Clooney's fiancée, Amal Alamuddin, is not so impressed with her daughter’s choice - and instead wanted her to marry within their strict Lebanese religious sect, according to close family friends.

High-profile human-rights lawyer Amal, 37, was born in Beirut to a prominent and highly respected family within the Druze sect, a medieval offshoot of Islam, who are forbidden to marry outsiders. For traditional Druze families intermarriage results in excommunication and social boycott.

However, as pictures of Baria appeared today with her arms around the Oscar winner's mom, Nina Clooney, as they strolled in the Italian sunshine - it would appear that she has been won over.

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It's all in the genes: Stunning Amal Alamuddin is seen with her mom, Baria Alamuddin at Milan Airport after the pair visited George Clooney's Lake Como retreat last month

It's all in the genes: Stunning Amal Alamuddin is seen with her mom, Baria Alamuddin at Milan Airport after the pair visited George Clooney's Lake Como retreat last month

  

baria alamuddin
Ramzi K.Alamuddin

Fled: Baria and Ramzi Alamuddin fled war-torn Beirut with their young daughter Amal and moved to the UK. Baria now lives in Buckinghamshire, UK, while Ramzi moved back to Lebanon in 1991


Bonding: The mothers of George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin enjoy time together in Lake Como

Bonding: The mothers of George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin enjoy time together in Lake Como - despite sources close to the Alamuddin family saying Baria Alamamuddin had her reservations

Pals: Baria and Nina Bruce looked like they were getting along well during the family trip
Pals: Baria and Nina Bruce looked like they were getting along well during the family trip

Pals: Baria and Nina Bruce looked like they were getting along well during the family trip in Italy

And a Lebanese friend of the family in London, where Amal was raised and Baria still lives, told MailOnline: ‘You would think Amal has hit the jackpot with George Clooney, but Baria is not happy.

'She thinks Amal can do better. She has been telling half of Beirut, in fact anyone that will listen, there are five hundred thousand Druze. Are none of them good enough for her?'.

There can be harsh penalties for those Druze who marry outsiders. Several women have been murdered for disobeying the rules. Last year a Sunni Muslim man had his penis severed by the male relatives of a Druze woman who defied her family by marrying him.

The friend added: ‘There have a been a few jokes in the family about the same thing happening to George!'

Druze make up around five per cent of Lebanon and number about a million worldwide, a community that is gradually shrinking as you cannot convert to be a Druze - and are only considered a member of the religion only if both your parents are Druze.

Those who marry outside the religion are cast out of the community and not allowed to return. Druze sheikhs will cut them off and refuse to pray over their grave when they die.

 

If George and Amal have children she will be unable to pass on her religion to them.

Their wedding, thought to be taking place near Lake Como on September 12 will not be a Druze wedding and Druze sheiks will not officiate, as Amal will be considered to be leaving the community and taking on the traditions of her husband, the source explained.

A civil wedding may offer a loophole in that she may be allowed to keep her religion.

The Alamuddin are a feudal aristocratic family that trace their roots back to the 14th century. The family still owns vast landsand and their ancestral home is one of the grandest in the mountain village of Ba’qalien, where Amal's father, Ramzi was born and raised. 

Still, Baria flew to Clooney's Italian villa on Lake Como over the weekend of June 21 and 22, where according to People, Clooney, 53, put on the charm and the visit was a success.

'They were outside, and Amal and her mom were smiling.It was going pretty great,' a source said.

'Amal's mom left the next day, and at the airport they just looked so happy.'

Amal, whose clients include under-fire Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, was then seen accompanying her mother to Milan airport on Monday, June 23.
Family affair: George Clooney stepped out to dinner with his fiance Amal Alamuddin and parents Nick and Nina on Wednesday in Lake Como, Italy

Family affair: George Clooney stepped out to dinner with his fiance Amal Alamuddin and parents Nick and Nina on Wednesday in Lake Como, Italy

A nice night out: The movie star's family and friends joined the happy couple for dinner

A nice night out: The movie star's family and friends joined the happy couple for dinner

Satisfied customer: The 53-year-old looked to have enjoyed the evening out

Satisfied customer: The 53-year-old looked to have enjoyed the evening out

Just a day later, Clooney's parents Nick and Nina Clooney arrived at Lake Como from their home in Kentucky to help with wedding plans - missing Baria.

Wearing a dapper dark toned suit and matching shirt  (sans tie), the Ocean's Eleven actor sported black leather dress shoes as he enjoyed the night out with his loved ones.

George’s mother Nina, a former beauty queen and councilwoman, and former anchorman and game show host father Nick, were spotted visiting the luxurious Hotel Bellagio.

They couldn’t have looked more pleased for the Oscar winner as they giggled away on a boat ride to the resort.

Clooney and Amal are believed to have checked out Hotel Villa D’Este at Cernobbio, which is famous for organizing high-profile weddings, and enjoyed a romantic dinner there.

But the Gravity star may well tie the knot with Amal at his own home.

Laws have been put in place by the Lake Como mayor to guarantee George’s privacy at his $42 million mansion, and are in operation 24 hours a day until September 30.

Pedestrians are banned from stopping on the road outside the 30-bedroom property, while anyone caught swimming within 100 metres of it will be fined up to £770.

Nina has previously expressed her fondness for her future daughter-in-law, who she has met several times, telling MailOnline: ‘You can say I’m extremely happy. Amal’s a lovely girl. I like her very much.’

Planning: Clooney's aunt Starla Clooney told how his parents were flying to Italy to help their Oscar winner son plan his September wedding

Planning: Clooney's aunt Starla Clooney told how his parents were flying to Italy to help their Oscar winner son plan his September wedding

Nick, who turned 80 this year, will be celebrating his 55th wedding anniversary with Nina, 74, in August. 

Striking Amal was just two when she moved from Beirut to London at the time of the civil war.

The brunette, who is now a British citizen, was brought up by her mother Baria and father Ramzi, who moved back to

Baria, 66, is the foreign editor of Al Hayat, a widely-read Arab newspaper, and has made numerous appearances as an analyst on Middle Eastern affairs on CNN and Al-Jazeera as well as CNBC, the BBC and Sky News in the UK.

Her beauty was said to be so striking that she has been said to resemble Elizabeth Taylor - while the poet Said Aki praised her 'Greek' beauty in poem.

She has interviewed numerous heads of state including King Hamad Bin Issa Alkhalifa, President Hosni Moubarak, King Hussain of Jordan, Prime Minister Tony Blair, President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President Fidel Castro - and was the last journalist to talk to Indira Gandhi before she died.

Not long now: George Clooney will marry Amal Alamuddin in Italy in September.The pair are pictured together in Malibu in May

Not long now: George Clooney will marry Amal Alamuddin in Italy in September.The pair are pictured together in Malibu in May

She once said: 'I speak on behalf of moderate Muslims who are being cast aside in this war against terrorism.'

And it would seem that Amal comes from good stock as her grandmother was the first woman graduate of the American University in Beirut.

It is believed that Baria and Ramzi fled Lebanon at the time of the civil war, however, Ramzi moved back in 1991.

Ramzi was formerly a university professor and is the ex-vice president of the American University of Beirut.

Today, Baria lives in Buckinghamshire in a house valued at $1.4million.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

I can understand a mother wanting the best for her daughter but how rude and selfish to try and tell her daughter who to marry when she clearly seems very happy with George. Yes he has had a reputation as a bit of ladies' man but he seems different with Amal and while he is in the entertainment industry he is not idiot and will most likely go into politics in the next couple of years.

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If true, I kind of agree with the mother. He has countless relationships that never worked, as well as one marriage. He is a great looking fellow and a very good actor, but I have never thought of him as marriageable material. Not that he ever asked me, mind.

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Green eyed monster coming out from your soon to be mother in law George ?...

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You are right about that."Odd" is the word

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Moms should be optimists for their daughters but, seriously, at 37, the good guys are taken and woman's bio clock is ticking loud.

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Typical Lebanese woman of her generation! Full of it!

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Good luck with your new mother in law George! Also, is anyone going to mention that cobalt blue visor with tassels that mommy dearest is wearing?!

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I don't understand, when it's the man who marries a non-Muslim woman, there's not all this fuss as the woman knows that she needs to convert but in this case the mother don't like ?? why ???

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Human is human. She not marrying a monkey.

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One of your 'fantasy' stories - 'a source close to the family said'. Exclusive? Exclusive nothing story.

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