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.
Ahmed Asery, Yemen
The dreadlocked Ahmed Asery heads the reggae and blues band, 3 Meters Away, in Yemen. Their songs became protest anthems as students revolted against the regime last year. With song titles like “Inhale Freedom” and “I'm Staying 'til the Regime Leaves,” Asery and his bandmates write socially-conscious lyrics and are among the first to sing reggae in Yemen.