Given the importance of the holy land to the Christians, as well as the importance of many great cities (Alexandria, Damascus and Jerusalem) to the Byzantine empire, why were not there any early attempts to recapture those strategic and religiosuly important land from the Arabs (either by the Byzantines or Rome)? Were the Byzantines so exhausted from their wars with the Sassanids that they relinquished these lands to the Arabs?
Because they were too busy trying to keep the Arabs from capturing Constantinople (in the 700s) and forcing them out of Anatolia (after that).
If they had managed that, I'm sure it would have gotten on the agenda. But the Islamic forces remained too strong.