Syrian refugee children pose for a photo in the southern village of Aqbieh, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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While the international community waits to see whether Syria's main opposition groups will attend the Geneva II peace conference slated for next week, Syrian refugee Mustafa Kurdi is indifferent as he packs oranges in the Beirut neighborhood of Nabaa.The U.N.-backed conference, sponsored by the U.S. and Russia, aims to find a political solution to the nearly 3-year-old Syrian civil war by bringing together delegations from both the regime and the opposition to discuss, among other things, the formation of a transitional government.Just as Russia and the U.S. are at odds over Assad retaining power in the proposed transitional government, so are Syrian refugees in Lebanon.For refugees in the Bekaa Valley, the devastation reaped by war has left little sympathy for Assad.A number of agricultural workers in south Lebanon also say they have never heard of the conference, with one of them, Izzudine al-Akhras, saying only that he hopes peace would return to Syria.From her new home in a large building in Sidon shared by many refugee families, Umm Rouweida is more optimistic.
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