BEIRUT — Lebanon’s new interior minister has taken office, becoming the country and the Arab world’s first female official in charge of powerful security agencies.
Raya El Hassan took over Wednesday as a part of a new government named after nearly nine months of deadlock. She is one of four women in the 30-member Cabinet, a historic record for female political representation in Lebanon.
El Hassan said she is “assuming the challenge” of the ministry in charge of implementing the law and serving citizens. She will be in charge of multiple, often competing security agencies, and of maintaining stability where until recently the country has grappled with militant groups and limited spillover from the war next door in Syria.
El Hassan in 2009 also became the region’s first female finance minister.