Middle East

Woman of Lebanon descent appointed as France Culture Minister

A French woman of Lebanese descent has been appointed to lead France’s Ministry of Culture, in the new government under recently re-elected President Emmanuel Macron.

The new Culture Minister, Rima Abdul Malak, previously served as the cultural advisor to the former mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, and has also been an advisor on culture and communications to Macron since 2019.

Born in Lebanon, she was ten-years-old when her parents took the family to the French city of Lyon to flee from the 1975-1990 Lebanese civil war. She then graduated from the Institute of Political Studies in Lyon, and then studied international cooperation at Sorbonne.

The post of France’s culture minister is noted to be a very transient position, with it reportedly failing to garner much seriousness over the past few decades. Abdul Malak is apparently set to change that, however, with her primary task being to aid the country’s artistic and cultural industries recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the Ministry of Culture’s website, “For the past two and a half years, Abdul Malak has been working on a daily basis, in permanent contact with Matignon [the prime minister’s residence] and the Ministry of Culture, to roll out measures to help the sector deal with the pandemic.”

Funds of at least €2 billion ($2.14 billion) are being allocated to help with that recovery, which will reportedly include Macron’s proposal to create “a European metaverse” to support artists’ creativity and authorship.

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