There are up to 1,851 emoji characters available on mobile platforms, and not one has a headscarf. This in spite of the fact that there are over 500 million hijab-wearers in the world. But it looks like that's going to change very soon.
It all started when 15-year-old Rayouf Alhumedhi was chatting with her friends in a Whatsapp group and each person had to choose an emoji to represent them. To her dismay, Alhumedhi realized none of the current emoji really looked like her.
"My friends, who don’t wear the headscarf, they found something. For me? I had to opt to not use an image of a woman wearing a headscarf. Because there isn’t one," said Alhumedhi, according to The Washington Post .
In theory, there's something in the emoji world for everyone. From different skin tones to various hair color options, to turbans and police officers, nearly everyone, more or less, can feel represented by the small digital icons.
"With this enormous number of people, not a single space on the keyboard is reserved for them," Alhumedhi's proposal to The Unicode Consortium read . The Unicode Consortium is the organization responsible for the evolution of emoji.
"The most I’ve written are lab reports at school, so this was really a new experience for me," Alhumedhi told Buzzfeed . "But I had some help and followed the structure of other good proposals."
The proposal caught the eye of Reddit's co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who has not only promoted Alhumedhi's proposal but co-drafted it.
The 'HijabEmoji' has been requested over 300 times on EmojiRequest, a worldwide platform for requesting new Emojis. But Ohanian's support may mean that this particular request will be taken a lot more seriously.
"The addition of the hijab emoji will prove to be a step forward in tolerance and diversity," said Alhumedhi, according to Mashable .
"It is distinctive and holds a lot of spiritual meaning to millions of women across the globe, recognizing its importance will ultimately showcase great appreciation from the Muslim community."