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.
Mohammed Kanoo, Bahrain
Bahraini contemporary artist Mohammed Kanoo's playful images of President Barack Obama and Hollywood actors like Will Smith and John Travolta garbed in traditional Arab menswear was a viral sensation. This piece, called “A Question of Identity,” was part of his recent solo exhibition in May at the Meem Gallery in Dubai, dubbed “Fun w/Fen” (Fun with Art). Reviewers have likened his pop-art style with Andy Warhol's. In addition to his digital prints, Kanoo also works in paint, calligraphy and other media.