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.
Mohamed Mouftakir, Morocco
Moroccan filmmaker Mohamed Mouftakir has been described as one of the “main voices of the New Moroccan cinema wave.” For his first feature film, Pegasus, Mouftakir won the top prize at the Pan African Film Festival in Burkina Faso last year. What's been called a psychological thriller, yet beautifully shot, the film confronts the taboo subjects of rape and incest.
(Photo: The Global Film Initiative)