According to Aljazeera.com, more than 12 new emojis were recently unveiled on World Emoji Day on Monday (yes, apparently that’s a thing). The most important inclusion in this range is that we’re finally getting to see Hijab-wearing women being represented.
In addition to this list, emojis that are also being introduced include a dinosaur, elf, zombie, genie, and in an additional effort to be even more inclusive, a woman breast-feeding.
What makes the hijab emoji even more special is that Rayouf Alhumedhi, a Saudi teen living in Germany started a campaign for inclusion of the emoji because she wanted to use an emoji that looked like her. Because of her campaign, AlJazeera adds, the emoji character was approved by the Unicode Consortium – which is a non-profit organisation that sets and approve the standard for global visual symbols across the language spectrum.
And now, later this year, we’ll be seeing it on Apple devices (and hopefully others will follow suit) everywhere.
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Of course, Tim Cook couldn’t tweet about it without it gathering some negativity, with one user calling the hijab a symbol of oppression. One user in that thread wanted to know why if nuns aren’t called out for being oppressed, why is it okay for people to think Muslims feel subjugated by their religion?
A quick side rant: I don’t know about you, but as someone who isn’t Muslim and doesn’t wear a hijab, I don’t think I get to tell Muslim women how they should feel
To get back to my original point, it’s wonderful to see Apple being so inclusive. As CNN states, emojis are a way to express yourself – and for many who are underrepresented and have to default using emojis that don’t reflect who they are, it’s frustrating.
According to their press release, Apple hasn’t yet confirmed when they would be releasing the new set of emojis, but we hope that this is the start of even more inclusiveness to come.
Back in 2015, Vibe.com states that Apple unveiled a batch of emojis featuring different skin tones for their human emojis following criticism over their lack of diversity and representation, so seeing the progress they’ve made is a definite win.
WATCH: 15-year-old lobbies for hijab emoji