Saudi Arabian girl offers to create "Hijab" emoji

Sep 14, 2016, 5:59 AM EDT
(Source: Thomas/flickr)
(Source: Thomas/flickr)

As European nations debate over the issue of Muslim veil, a 15-year-old Saudi Arabian girl, living in Germany, has proposed designing a headscarf emoji, an idea that has garnered support from the co-founder of online discussion forum Reddit, Alexis Ohanian. If The Unicode Consortium, a non-profit corporation that oversees development of new emojis, approves Rayouf Alhumedhi’s designs, the new emoji will be available in 2017.

Alhumedhi, who shared her idea with Unicode after reading an article on emoji design, wrote in her initial proposal, “In the age of digitalization, pictures prove to be a crucial element in communication…With the amount of difference in this world, we must be represented,” writes the BBC.

To drum up support for the initiative, Ohanian organized a Reddit live online discussion on Tuesday where Reddit users asked questions and shared their views on Alhumedhi’s new idea.

Emojis have given way to a new form of visual literacy among those who communicate online, reports The Washington Post. These “nuanced forms of expression” have gradually started to diversify to allow better representation of users. The recent announcement to introduce “professional” emojis showing men and women at a variety of workplaces is an example how these symbols are being diversified to promote valuable ideas.