Yep, all great stuff and I’m familiar with all of that history and find it infinitely fascinating. My point about ‘the center of the world’ geopolitically was that this huge caliphate of Umayyads was based in Damascus, and it was prior to the rise of the Ottoman Empire and Europe at that time was a jumble of rather disorganized Dark Age states. It’s true that the Byzantine Empire was around but Constantinople is also close to the Middle East and the Middle East was where the Byzantines and Umayyads battled each other. In fact Egypt and Syria were Byzantine possessions taken by the Arabs.
So I think my statement about the Middle East being the center of the world Geopolitically has merits when we refer to the heyday of the Umayyad Caliphate (late 600’s early 700’s AD) because it was perhaps the most powerful entity in Eurasia.