There has been civil war around Syria before. In 661AD, the new Umayyad Empire began to extend around the whole southern Mediterranean to Iberia (green on the map below) and in 750 this gave way to the Abbasid Empire (orange map below).
That was when chemistry and physics were developed by Jabir Hayyan (722-804) a Persian alchemist.
Natural history was also being studied, both along the banks of the Tigris and in the libraries of Baghdad where translations from Aristotle’s Greek texts on animals and plants were available. The main student of these subjects was Al Jahiz (776-869) whose Book of Living Things became available around 847.
Jahiz began work in Basra and moved north through the marshlands to Baghdad where he published his literary and scientific work in parchment volumes. Some of these are now in the British Library, the source of the illustrations that are copied above.