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A proposed design for the hijab emojis by Aphelandra Messer (Twitter)

"New language"

Meet the 15-year-old girl trying to make the hijab emoji happen

By WITW Staff on September 14, 2016

Rayouf Alhumedhi, a 15-year-old high school student in Berlin is leading the effort to get the Unicode Consortium — the nonprofit that creates and approves emojis — to add a hijabi emoji. “I wanted something to represent me, alongside the millions of women who wear the headscarf every day, and pride themselves on wearing the headscarf,” the teenager, who is originally from Saudi-Arabia, told The Washington Post. “It’s the new language.”

Alhumedhi had been toying with the idea for a while, when she saw a Mashable Snapchat story explaining how anyone could propose new emojis. She sent out an email to the consortium, detailing her plan in two short paragraphs and received a response, offering help to flesh out the proposal. It now stands at seven pages, with the backing of Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and a proposed design by a graphic artist — creating a hijab or headscarf that could be put over several already existing “humans” emoji. The final proposal should be ready for formal consideration by November and, if approved, could be introduced as early as mid-2017. Alhumedhi realizes that some people might not be very into the idea. “There will be people like, ‘It’s such a trivial topic, why are you worrying about this?’” she told the Post. “But once you wrap your head around how influential and how impactful emoji are to today’s modern society, you’ll understand. Emoji are everywhere.”

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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