He was born in 1956 in Kuwait to Palestinian refugee parents who fled their homeland after the establishment of the state of Israel. Khanfar began taking photographs at the age of six, when his father gave him his first camera.
At the age of 17, Khanfar moved to the United States, and spent the next twenty years traveling the world taking photographs. He currently resides in Oklahoma City.
Khanfar's photography has been published widely, including in magazines such as Oprah, International Photo Art, and Outdoor Photography. He has also published two books of his work: 2000's Voices of Light, and 2007's In Search of Peace, recipient of the 2007 IP Outstanding Book of the Year Award.