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.
Hazim Faris, United Arab Emirates
Violinist and composer Hazim Faris' first album, "1001 Violin Nights," topped regional music charts upon its release last fall. With contributions from Turkish musicians, the album is dubbed a “musical journey from Baghdad to Istanbul.” Though based in the United Arab Emirates in recent years, the Iraqi musician continues to produce lyrics and music for famous Iraqi singers. He's going international, with performances scheduled in coming months at music festivals in Europe.
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)