Even as world headlines from the Middle East focus on upheaval and violence, the region's culture continues to thrive. Here's our look at some groups and individuals making their mark on arts and culture in the region, in no particular order.
Aghiles Issiakhem, Algeria
There aren't too many galleries in Algeria, but artist Aghiles Issikhem has found plenty to inspire his creative expression. Working in charcoal, pencil, acrylic and oil paints, Issiakhem has captured the faces of disenchanted Algerian youth in his portraiture. His great uncle was a seminal modern art figure in Algeria, but he's making his own mark. One reputed Algerian painter, Dokman, has called him “a very promising talent” and said, "He's not in it for the money. It comes from his gut."
(Photo: Radio Netherlands Worldwide)