During my work-out today I realised that, actually, there never has been a 'great' Arabian civilization, no offense.
Persia was Persian, the Turkish empire was Turkic, and when the Egyptians were doing well they were, well Egyptian. It's considered fact that the Arabian's rise to power after the death of Mohammad saw them change from pastorals to empire-crunchers.
If anything, one could label the current Arabic countries as doing well, but to say they represent some unique style is too much. They import the architects for their hotels built with oil-money, wear clothes and jewellery from European designers and even leave exploration of their oil-fields to western conglomerates under concession.
But what does it mean? How is this connected with today's state of affairs? It probably illustrates that the Arabic world as such isn't really a force to reckon with. It's much more the Islamic world, which is hardly the same (Indonesia and Pakistan to name but a few).
Ah, so you see, a good work-out isn't waisted time at all.