Teen creates the new hijab emoji the world is raving about

By Kim Abrahams
21 July 2017

"I did it very quickly. I did not understand how big a deal this was."

She sat with her phone in hand one day, searching for an emoji that looked like her to use in a WhatsApp group she had started with her friends. But she couldn’t find one.

Today, millions of women around the world can make use of a digitally-created cartoon figure that resembles them.

In light of World Emoji Day earlier this week, Apple formally introduced a whole new range of emojis to be released later this year – and hijab was one of them.

Just like the rest of the world, Rayouf Alhumedhi was pleasantly surprised at the news, even though it was her brainchild.

"I got the news just like everybody else!" she told CNN after a friend sent her the link to a BuzzFeed article on Apple’s latest release.

The 16-year-old said she found it ‘baffling’ that there was no emoji to represent her and millions of other women, so she sent her proposal to The Unicode Consortium – the nonprofit corporation that reviews and develops new emojis.

"I did it very quickly. I did not understand how big a deal this was."

Read more: Bonang is getting her own emojis!

Rayouf, who lives with her family in Vienna, expressed her satisfaction at the result of her spur-of-the-moment idea.

"I'm really happy with what it looks like. I'm just so excited because it finally came out after all the work, all the writing."

But the emoji didn’t sit well with some. People quickly took to Twitter to voice their dissatisfaction.

“There should be an emoji to show what happens when the Muslim woman takes off the hijab,” one commented.

Those in support of the emoji spoke out in praise of the overdue step towards accepting diversity.

Here are some of the other emojis the electronic giant has released:

Sources: edition.cnn.com, independent.co.uk 

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