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.
Qusai, Saudi Arabia
Rapper Qusai (Kheder) grew up in Jeddah and is proof that Saudi Arabia and hip hop aren't mutually exclusive. Qusai went from being a DJ to a successful MC and even co-host of the MBC show, Arabs Got Talent. His new album is titled,“The Inevitable Change.” Hot Arab Music called the album's verses “uplifting” and said as Arab rappers have emerged over the past 15 years, “no one has worked as hard as Qusai.”