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.
Naif Al-Mutawa, Kuwait
Look out, it's Widad the Loving and Jaleel the Majestic! These new superheroes on the block are the brainchild of Naif Al-Mutawa, the Kuwaiti founder and CEO of Tashkeel Media Group. Billed as THE 99, they are do-gooders inspired by Middle Eastern tradition and Islamic archetypes. Al-Mutawa's vision of kids having new role models has burgeoned from a comic book series to a theme park and a TV series.