SPECIAL NOTE: The Arab People
The Arab people, who arose in what is now Saudi Arabia, were horse nomads with a culture similar to the horse nomads of central Asia. They had frequent, often violent, interaction with the central Asian nomads. Probably their most significant impact was the spread of their Moslem (Islamic) faith among the central Asian nomads and the sedentary Iranians. First, the Islamic Arab Umayyad Dynasty, and then its successor, the Islamic Arab Abbasid Dynasty, controlled all the Middle East, north Africa, and parts of central Asia when at the peak of their power around 737 and 771 AD respectively. (The Abbasids violently overthrew the Umayyads in 747-750 AD.) The capital city of the Umayyads was Damascus and the capital city of the Abbasids was Baghdad.