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More Than An Emoji: Why One Teen’s Plea For Representation Matters


More Than An Emoji: Why One Teen’s Plea For Representation Matters

She’s speaking up for 500 million headscarf-wearing people around the world

A 15-year-old Saudi girl from Germany thinks there should be an emoji that represents Muslim women who wear hijabs – and we couldn’t agree more!

When Rayouf Alhumedhi realized – during a group chat with her friends – that none of the iPhone emojis wear a headscarf like she does, the teen took matters into her own hands to have one created.

After being ignored by Apple, Rayouf reached out to The Unicode Consortium – an organization that reviews and develops emojis. With the help of a subcommittee member there, she drafted a super in depth proposal.

“In this day and age, representation is extremely important,” she says. “People want to be acknowledged and recognized. This is massive. Emojis are everywhere.”

Many people, including Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, are supportive of her initiative. On Tuesday, Reddit actually hosted a live chat with Rayouf where she discussed her idea with site users and received feedback on the project document.

“There are so many Muslim women in this world who wear the headscarf. It might seem trivial, but it’s different when you see yourself on the keyboard around the world,” says Rayouf. “Once you experience that, it’s really great.”

If approved, the emojis will be available on mobile devices everywhere in 2017. Eeep!

We support Rayouf 110% because everybody deserves to feel celebrated. Not too long ago, all of the people iPhone emojis had white skin, leaving out individuals with black skin, brown skin and skin of every color in between! By not including specific cultures and races, our society implies that those particular humans are not as valuable or important– which is totally not fair, just or true! We are ALL equal and deserve to be seen and treated as such.

Way to go, Ms. Alhumedhi! *insert future hijabi emoji here*

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