“I wanted to be represented, as simple as that,” says the Saudi teen behind the inclusive new addition to your keyboards.
She first came up with the idea last year, after failing to find an emoji that looked like her as she scrolled through her phone.
And now, Rayouf Alhumedhi says she’s “so excited” that her dream of a hijab emoji has become a reality.
The 16-year-old Saudi schoolgirl, who now lives in Vienna, pitched the idea for a headscarf-wearing icon to the Unicode Consortium – the company in charge of introducing the cartoonish images to the market – in 2016.
“The addition of the hijab emoji will prove to be a step forward in tolerance and diversity,”Alhumedhi wrote at the time.
“It is distinctive and holds a lot of spiritual meaning to millions of women across the globe, recognising its importance will ultimately showcase great appreciation from the Muslim community.”
The consortium announced her bid had been successful at the end of last year, and now Apple have revealed it’ll land on their devices towards the end of 2017.
(And you can already use it on some Twitter platforms right now).
The image of a woman wearing a purple hijab will join other upcoming emojis, including a breastfeeding mum, a pretzel and dinosaurs.
“I’m really happy with what it looks like,” Alhumedhi told CNN on Tuesday. “I saw so many ideas, different colours and styles but I didn’t know what it would finally look like. I’m just so excited because it’s finally came out after all the work, all the writing.”
The announcement of the hijabi emoji, which will join a range of other diverse images including different skin tones and religious references, was met with praise on social media.
— Swaburah Eleas (@eswabie) July 19, 2017
— Theodore أبو بكر (@t03_theodore) July 18, 2017
Alhumedhi now hopes the emoji will help shatter stereotypes about the Muslim community, and build a more tolerant society at the same time.
Once women wearing headscarves “begin to show up on our phones, that will establish that notion that we are normal people carrying out daily routines just like you,” she said last year, according to CNN.
“I wanted to be represented, as simple as that. I just wanted an emoji of me.”
Image: Rayouf Alhumedhi/Instagram