It is named after the nearby stream that is known in Arabic as Wadi 'Ara. The village was particularly small with a population of and a land area of approximately 9, dunums. The archaeological site Tel al-Asawir was located northwest of the village site. Burial caves dating from the fourth to the second millennium B. Ceramics from the late Roman , Byzantine , and early Muslim and Middle ages have been found here. The Muslim geographer Ibn Khurdadhbi d. In the British Mandate of Palestine - period, the village was classified as a hamlet in the Palestine Index Gazetteer. The moshav of Ein Iron was built in on what were traditionally village land. In the statistics Wadi Ara had a population of Muslims,  with a total of 9, dunams of land.
The Wadi Halfa Salient , named after a nearby Sudanese city 22 kilometers south of the border , is a salient of the international border between Egypt and the Sudan along the Nile River to the north. In , the border between Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and Egypt was defined by the condominium treaty to run along the 22nd degree north of latitude. However, access to the area north of the border along the Nile River and consequently the administration of the population of the area were easier from the Sudan.
It lies on the east bank of the Nile River 6 miles 10 km below the Second Cataract, just south of the Egyptian border. Located within ancient Nubia , the town and its environs are rich in antiquities; the ruins of Buhen—an Egyptian colony of the Middle Kingdom period that existed until Roman times—lie across the river. In the s it was the focus of archaeological activities to save Egyptian monuments from inundation by Lake Nasser the reservoir formed above the Aswan High Dam , a fate that part of the town shared.
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