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.
El General, Tunisia
Rapper El General's song, “Rais Le Bled” (Leader of the Country), released in December 2010, is noted for pumping up Tunisian masses as they rose up against former President Zine El Abidine Ali, and was later adopted by Egyptians. He took the risk during Ali's repressive rule to speak out against corruption and was arrested. He popularized hip hop as a genre within Tunisia, and elevated Tunisian hip hop on a global scale. Beyond his revolutionary anthem, El General performs live and is working on an album called "The Voice of the People."