Apple announced last week the launch of the first-ever emoji of a woman wearing a hijab which is due to hit keyboards this fall. 16-year-old Rayouf Alhumedhi started the campaign for hijabi representation last year – and it worked! The student, who was born in Saudi Arabia but now lives in Vienna, Austria, drafted a proposal to the Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit corporation that manages emoji additions. The teen had top-level support for her efforts. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian co-authored the proposal and Unicode introduced Miss Alhumedhi to an award-winning graphic artist who worked with her to create an emoji design (pictured).
“I wanted something to represent me, alongside the millions of women who wear the headscarf every day, and pride themselves on wearing the headscarf.” says the emoji activist. Miss Alhumedhil says that emojis are the “new language” and stresses the importance for self-identity during digital conversations with friends. “We applaud Unicode for the diversification of emojis in recent years,” the teen wrote in her initial proposal. “However, this does not mean it should stop now. With the amount of difference in this world, we must be represented.”
And now we can check one off for hijabi wearing women in emoji land.