Welcome to the Australian History – International Explorer Guide for Egypt and Lebanon.
With funding from the Australian Government’s Council for Australian-Arab Relations, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, this website has been designed as an online resource for Australian travellers to inform their visits to Egypt and Lebanon. The descriptions of these sites provide information on how to access the area and preparations and precautions that travellers need to make, in addition to providing a history of Australia’s relationship with the area. In particular, these descriptions highlight the role Australian service personnel played in Egypt and Lebanon during the two world wars. In addition to these links with Australian history, this website also provides information on key historical and cultural sites of interest in nearby areas. This list is not exhaustive, but it is a valuable starting point for any travellers wishing to explore Egypt and Lebanon.
Australia has a strong history of involvement in Egypt and Lebanon. Australian service personnel were based in both countries during the First and Second World Wars, and military campaigns brought conflict to these countries on both occasions. As a result of this conflict, approximately 4000 Australians were buried in Egypt, and a further 320 in Lebanon, over both the world wars. These men and women now lie in the well-maintained Commonwealth War Grave Commission Cemeteries, whilst countless other war dead remain missing out in the unmarked battlefields. Throughout these areas, large memorials and museums stand alongside those graves as silent reminders of the cost of war. Many of these sites are scarcely visited anymore and they risk being swallowed up by the desert; whilst others show evidence of regular attendance, and fresh flowers on soldiers’ graves testify to the modern day value and significance of these sites and of the people associated with them. These sites reflect a history shared by Australians, Egyptians and Lebanese. The battlegrounds that were once a setting for nations to tear each other apart are now a setting for people to come together to remember.