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.
Hoba Hoba Spirit, Morroco
Ten years ago, the band Hoba Hoba Spirit was an underground act — rock outfits were not so welcome in the Morrocan music landscape. Today though, the band attracts huge audiences as they fuse rock, reggae and traditional Gnawa music of North Africa. They credit the Internet with connecting them with fans, both at home and overseas.