There Is No Headscarf Emoji, But A 15-Year-Old Is Trying To Change That

September 13, 2016

Imagine swiping through your phone keyboard and not seeing a single emoji that represents you — like, at all. That feeling is all too familiar to 15-year-old Rayouf Alhumedhi, so she decided to propose a new emoji she'd love to use in her text messages someday: a person wearing a headscarf. 

Since emojis are so integral to conversation these days, Alhumedhi felt pretty excluded from the fun when she realized such an important part of her identity wasn't represented on the keyboard. Her proposal, which she submitted to the Unicode Consortiumexplains the significance of some kind of head covering to many of the world's religions, including Islam, Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism. 

"Roughly 550 million Muslim women on this earth pride themselves on wearing the hijab," her proposal states. "With this enormous number of people, not a single space on the keyboard is reserved for them." 






Alhumedhi, a high school student in Germany who is originally from Saudi Arabia, wants her headscarf emoji to be compatible with the already existing skin tone modifier emojis, so it would be just like dressing an emoji. 





"We applaud Unicode for the diversification of emojis in recent years," Alhumedhi writes in her proposal. "However, this does not mean it should stop now. With the amount of difference in this world, we must be represented." 

On Snapchat, the Bitmoji extension includes a hijab option, and that's clearly making some people very happy. 




So that's just another reason to build it into the emoji keyboard. 










People are READY.






*Emoji illustrations by Aphelandra Messer