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.
Idan Raichel, Israel
Combining seemingly disparate sounds has never been an issue for Idan Raichel. For the past decade, the Israeli musician has blended Ethiopian, Latin, Middle Eastern and Caribbean beats, with his group, The Idan Raichel Project. Raichel, who is credited with redefining Israeli popular music, continues to tour and collaborate with diverse artists, including India Arie.