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.
Ali Ferzat, Syria
Syrian political cartoonist Ali Ferzat, influential across the Arab-speaking belt, took the government and elite to task in his drawings. Previously, Ferzat didn't directly chide Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, only addressing him symbolically. But following the popular uprising and the bloody crackdown, his depictions have changed. The veteran cartoonist was kidnapped and badly beaten in 2011. His hands have since healed and he's back at the drawing board, partaking in what he's called Syria's new revolutionary art. One of the many works featured on his Facebook site is pictured here.
(Photo: Facebook.com )