LARNACA, Cyprus — A lone American evacuated from West Beirut arrived by ferry in Cyprus today and said the kidnaping of four teachers in the Lebanese capital on Saturday was "the last straw."
Robert Foss, a Vermont native and the last American man teaching at Beirut's American Community School, told reporters that his evacuation was arranged by the U.S. Embassy and Lebanese security forces.
"I've been there (in Beirut) for 20 years," Foss said. "I've been through almost every evacuation and returned. This was the last straw, it really was."
Foss said he left in a car sitting between two Lebanese army officers with a jeepload of soldiers following behind. He was driven to Christian-controlled East Beirut, where he was met by security officers of the U.S. Embassy.
Foss said he had not been out of the school building since two Americans were kidnaped four months ago.
Foss said the school, which in the early 1970s had 1,000 mostly American students, now has 99% Lebanese students.
Foss said that before the war, Beirut "was really a paradise, the climate, tourist attractions, the school. We were hoping it would come back, but it never will."