Twenty-one year old Mia Khalifa burst onto the scene in a big way last week when Pornhub announced she'd displaced Lisa Ann as the most popular performer on the site... and then again shortly thereafter, when some of her fellow Middle Easterners decided they didn't take too kindly to her choice of career, and decided to harass her online. We were totally impressed by the way she stood up to the haters – and now we're finding ourselves inspired to learn a little bit more about the girl behind the controversy.
Mia Khalifa was born February 10, 1993, in Beirut, Lebanon (which you probably already knew) to an American father and Lebanese mother. At the age of ten, her family relocated to the States, settling in Montgomery County, Maryland. Khalifa stayed in the Old Line State until her late teens, when she relocated to El Paso, Texas, before finally landing in Miami, Florida, where she lives (and shoots porn) today.
Some have wondered how, exactly, a girl who's been in the adult industry for a scant few months (Khalifa's first scenes debuted just this past October) could possibly have displaced a prolific porn legend like Lisa Ann in popularity. If we had to wager a guess, it'd be a mixture of talent, tits, and the fact that Khalifa's ethnic background isn't all that commonly found in the adult industry. Which leads us to the most interesting section of the Mia Khalifa story: how, exactly, did a girl like this end up porn to begin with?
Strangely, the story begins in a humble Miami burger joint, where Khalifa once worked as a mild mannered counter girl. As it happens, said burger joint happens to be a favorite of the Score staff, who regularly take their lunches their. After weeks of knowing Khalifa (who, fun fact, began her career as Mia Callista) as the friendly, flirty burger shop girl, one of the staffers saw her out on the street (and out of her unflattering uniform) and realized she was more than just friendly and flirty – she was full on Scoreland material. After a few weeks of hesitation, they finally approached her with an offer; not long after, she was in the Score office stripping off and posing for her first ever nude photos. And the shooting her first ever hardcore video. And then shooting with other companies, too – most notably Bang Bros, who featured Khalifa as a hijab clad hottie in a video that's been the source of much of the aforementioned controversy.
Speaking of that controversy: you've doubtless read the many hateful tweets that have accused Khalifa of shaming her country, her culture, and all of Islam; but we're happy to report that it's not just haters who've been inspired by Khalifa's career. Yes, in the wake of the vitriol being spewed in her direction, she's also picked up quite a few supporters and fans – including British-Lebanese author Nasri Atallah, who posted on Facebook:
The moral indignation about Mia Khalifa, presumably the first Lebanese porn star, is wrong for two reasons. First and foremost, as a woman, she is free to do as she pleases with her body. Secondly, 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. There is this odd perception that being Lebanese is a vocation and a duty first and that your personal life comes second.
And, in a somewhat more novel turn, Khalifa's notoriety has earned her her very own anthem, penned and performed by Rob Resnick and Cal Shapiro (you can check the song out over at Soundcloud if you're curious). To the best of our knowledge, there aren't that many porn performers who've earned themselves their very own ballads (Lacey Duvalle is one of the few we remember off hand) – so it's nice to see that Khalifa's earning accolades as awesome as the harassment is awful.
Khalifa's meteoric rise to fame seems certain to be the beginnings or a pretty solid career in porn (and, not surprisingly, we're rooting for her to shoot a whole heck of a lot more scenes). But Khalifa herself isn't sure she's in it for the long haul. When pressed by the press, she said of porn that "it’s not something I’d make a career out of, but I’ll ride it out 'til I can’t do it anymore." Then again, it wasn't that long ago that a young woman named Belle Knox was just shooting a few porn scenes to help pay her tuition bills... so who knows? Maybe her rush of new fans will help convince Khalifa to stay in the industry for a bit longer. After all, it'd be shame to see one of porn's few Middle Eastern stars quit the jizz biz so quick.