Australian Embassy


The Ambassador of Australia, H.E. Lex Bartlem
together with the Safadi Foundation in Tripoli presents

Australia and the Battle of Beirut

 20-22 October 2011

The Australian Embassy, in collaboration with the Safadi Foundation, will be presenting a special photographic exhibition to remember the role played by Australian forces in the liberation of Lebanon in 1941. The exhibition, running from 20 to 22 October, will commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the Battle of Beirut, which ousted the Vichy French Forces that governed Lebanon at the time and paved the way for Lebanon’s subsequent independence.

The exhibition will feature photographs taken by some of Australia’s finest pioneering war photographers. These include the photographs of renowned Australian photographers Frank Hurley (famous for having accompanied
Ernest Shackleton on his famous ill-fated Endurance expedition to Antarctica in 1914-1916) and Damien Parer (one of Australia’s best-known combat cameramen).

The photographs cover the months of fighting as Australian forces moved north from Palestine, until the eventual successful entry into Beirut by Australian and Allied forces on 12 July 1941.

Australian forces, along with British Commonwealth units, remained garrisoned throughout Lebanon for several months after the surrender, establishing a stronghold for the remainder of World War Two. The exhibition will feature photographs of Australian forces at work, rest and play in Lebanon throughout 1941 and 1942.

While garrisoned in Lebanon, the Australian Army’s first-ever ski unit was raised and trained in the Cedars above Bcharre. The exhibition will include a number of photographs of this historic episode, as Australian soldiers adapted from desert fighting to skiing and snow-based battle.

Australia’s Ambassador to Lebanon, Lex Bartlem, said the Australian Embassy was proud to present an exhibition to commemorate the vital role played by the Australian Army in lebanon in World War Two.

“Australia is proud of the role it played in assisting the countries of the Middle East to reject totalitarianism and oppression during both World Wars,” Mr Bartlem said. “We are also very proud that we are today working alongside not only Lebanon and Britain, but also France and Germany, along with many other nations among our international friends, to assist the people of Lebanon.”

The exhibition will be open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

3rd floor | Safadi Cultural Center | Ramzi Safadi Street | Al Maarad | Tripoli