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.
Tahmineh Milani, Iran
Tahmineh Milani is one of Iran's most prolific female directors. Her films zoom in on women's economic, social and psychological struggles, fetching her both domestic box office success and international recognition. But she's also faced censorship and even arrest. She told an Indian newspaper last winter that she wants to make a film about women who kill their husbands, but has been denied permission to do so. Still, Milani continues to create, with a movie out last year and another film on the Iran-Iraq war in the works, according to Iranian news reports.