Rayouf Alhumedhi: The Teenager Behind New Hijab Emoji

Hijab emoji
Have you check out the latest hijab-wearing emoji? The hijab-clad emoji is the outcome of the persistent efforts put in by a 16-year-old, Rayouf Alhumedhi. According to a report by CNN, this Vienna resident proposed this idea last year to the Unicode Consortium, the non-profit corporation that reviews and develops new emojis.

“I wanted to be represented, as simple as that. I just wanted an emoji of me.”

The emoji is one of the umpteen new emoji characters that have been made available on Apple devices this year.
 She expressed her delight after seeing the new emoji.


Read Also: Get Ready For Gender-Neutral Emoji This Year

“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 finally came out after all the work, all the writing.”

Hijab Emoji

Hijab Emoji,  Credits: CNN


The idea of proposing an emoji of this kind occurred to her five years ago, in Berlin where she was living with her family for five years, after moving to the German capital from Saudi Arabia.

It was when she and her friends were creating a Whatsapp group that the realisation dawned upon her that there was no emoji to represent women wearing hijab especially when there were so many women across the world who regularly wear it.

She resolved to take the matters into her own hands and drafted a proposal on her laptop and sent it to Unicode. “I did it very quickly. I did not understand how big a deal this was,” she explains.

Following this, Jennifer 8. Lee, a member of the Unicode emoji subcommittee, put Alhumedhi in touch with Aphee Messer, who worked with the teenager to design the emoji.

The Unicorn Consortium received a lot of flak for releasing an emoji that promotes patriarchy and perpetuating stereotypes.

Despite the stir they are creating, Alhumedhi is hopeful that it will promote tolerance too. She says,

  “But overall, I think the Muslim community will benefit from it. Even if only in terms of representation. It’s only an emoji. It’s not a game changer. But it will make people happy. I hope so. I wanted to be represented, as simple as that. I just wanted an emoji of me.”