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.
Sheika Al Mayassa, Qatar
The daughter of Qatar's ruling emir is often called the driving force behind the oil-rich country's unabashed cultural ambitions. Armed with a degree from Duke University, she heads the board of trustees for the Qatar Museums Authority, which oversees the Museum of Islamic Art (pictured above), Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art and the National Museum of Qatar. The Art Newspaper says Qatar is the world's biggest art buyer in the market. Earlier this year, the royal family paid more than $250 million for Cezanne's “The Card Players.”