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.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey
Celebrated Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan's films date back to 1993. At the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, he received the grand prix prize for Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. Set in the austere countryside, similar to where Ceylan grew up, some reviewers say the feature may have outdone even his earlier critically lauded work.