Khalifa was born in Beirut, Lebanon and moved with her family to the United States in 2000. She moved to Montgomery County, Maryl and as a teenager d attended Northwest High School. A few years later she graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History.
Khalifa entered the adult film industry in October 2014. She had been working at a local fast food restaurant when she was approached by a customer and asked if she ever wanted to be in pornography.
On December 28 that year, Pornhub revealed that she was the #1 ranked porn star on their website, replacing retired Lisa Ann. Her newfound notoriety quickly drew strong criticism from many in the Middle East, who branded her career choice as shameful and Khalifa herself a disgrace to her country.
In one of her videos filmed by Bang Bros, Khalifa is seen wearing a hijab. Many took offense to the depiction, and she has received death threats as a result of the video.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Khalifa said the controversial scene was satirical and should be taken as such, claiming that Hollywood movies depicted Muslims in much more negative lights than any pornographer could.
Among those who publicly spoke out to defend her decision to become an adult performer was British-Lebanese author Nasri Atallah, who stated, “The moral indignation…is wrong for two reasons. First and foremost, as a woman, she is free to do as she pleases with her body.
As a sentient human being with agency, who lives halfway across the world, she is in charge of her own life and owes absolutely nothing to the country where she happened to be born.”
Khalifa herself said of the controversy: “Women’s rights in Lebanon are a long way from being taken seriously if a Lebanese-American porn star that no longer resides there can cause such an uproar. What I once boasted to people as being the most Westernized-nation in the Middle East, I now see as devastatingly archaic and oppressed.”
With more than 1.5 million views, the 22-year-old Khalifa became the most searched-for star on adult movie site Pornhub. According to data from Pornhub, from January 3 to 6, 2015, searches for Mia Khalifa increased five-fold.
Around a quarter of those searches came from Lebanon, with substantial searches also from nearby Arab states of Egypt, Syria and Jordan.
Khalifa married an American man in February 2011 shortly after she turned 18. She currently resides in Miami, Florida.
Khalifa has a tattoo of the opening line of the Lebanese National Anthem, and another of the Lebanese Forces Cross.
She got the latter in 2012 after a bombing in Lebanon, stating it was to “show solidarity with my father’s political views”. Both tattoos have come under the scrutiny of her detractors.
Khalifa has also said that her parents have stopped speaking to her because of her career choice. In a statement, her parents disassociated themselves from her actions, saying that her decision to enter the porn industry was born of her residence in a foreign country which had a different culture than theirs, and that her actions did not reflect her upbringing. They also said that they hoped that she would leave porn, saying that her image did not honor her family or her home country.
Khalifa is a fan of Florida State Seminoles football. She attempted to recruit Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller to transfer to Florida State through social networking.
In popular culture
On January 6, 2015, Timeflies released a song titled “Mia Khalifa” in homage to her. In response, she posted a YouTube video of herself twerking to the song.
Almaza, a Lebanese brewery, ran an ad showing an Almaza beer bottle next to Khalifa’s signature glasses, with the slogan: “Both of us are for adults only.”
The University of New South Wales has been subject to a recurrent hacking scandal whereby their Facebook has been hacked into displaying a variety of links. One popular example is that of Khalifa’s Instagram account.