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 Tanbura, Egypt
Master musicians from Port Said make up the Egyptian folk band El Tanbura. While preserving the traditional tunes of their region, the group also had a big role in the revolutionary music that invigorated crowds — young and old — in Tahrir Square. Founder Zakaria Ibrahim, who runs a center that manages other folk groups and runs training schools, has noted their particular folk form has a history of being populist resistance music. As they continue regular local performances and travel to festivals, Zakaria advocates that social change can occur through the arts.
(Photo: El Mastaba Center for Egyptian Folk Music)