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.
Ayman Baalbaki, Lebanon
Ayman Baalbaki was among the renowned artists chosen for “The Future of a Promise,” the first pan-Arab exhibition of contemporary art at the 2011 Venice Biennale. Born in 1975, the year that Lebanon's civil war broke out, Baalbaki's oil paintings and installations often echo those troubled times and Beirut's changing urban landscape.