Saudi Teen creates Hijab Emoji,”I just wanted an emoji of me”


Rayouf Alhumedhi, a Saudi teenager that now lives in Vienna proposed the idea of a headscarf wearing emoji to The Unicode Consortium a year ago.

Apple accepted the emoji and announced on World Emoji Day as one of the new emojis to join the collection later this year.

Alhumedhi is “happier than ever” that the emoji will soon be available. “I’m really happy with how it looks.”

“I’m really happy with what it looks like,” Alhumedhi said in an interview with CNN. “I saw so many ideas, different colors 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.”

Alhumedhi says she received the news like everybody else did when a friend sent a screenshot of Buzzfeed announcing the new collection of emojis along with others.
She first had the idea in her bedroom in Berlin, where she lived with her family for five years after moving to the German capital from Saudi Arabia.
“My friends and I were creating a group chat on WhatsApp,” Alhumedhi told CNN in an interview last year, “and I obviously had no emoji to represent me.”
“The fact that there wasn’t an emoji to represent me and the millions of other hijabi women across the world was baffling to me,” she said. “I really had no initial idea in my mind of what it was supposed to look like, I just wanted it to be available in different skin tones — millions of women from different races do wear it.” Alhumedhi says that although many people were supportive, a lot of people found it “unnecessary”.
Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, also backed her proposal and hosted an online discussion where Alhumedhi talked about her idea and responded to critics.
The reaction all around social media has also been mixed with some people claiming the emoji was a “part of patriarchal constructs that oppress women.”