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.
Nayla Al Khaja, United Arab Emirates
Nayla Al Khaja is bent on cultivating local film talent in the UAE. Considered the UAE's first female film producer, Al Khaja has lamented the hurdles Emirate filmmakers face in movie-making in a country where large investments are made toward big Hollywood studios. Through her company, D-SEVEN Motion Pictures, she recently created Aflam, a film club intended to be a platform for independent Arab filmmakers. Her own films include, Once.