Diversifying emojis

The proposed emoji created by Aphelandra Messer, representing the hijab and the ghutra Courtesy: Aphelandra Messer
The proposed emoji created by Aphelandra Messer, representing the hijab and the ghutra Courtesy: Aphelandra Messer

Emoticons have been evolving along with the online communication. They started out as combinations of punctuation marks and have developed into animated graphics. But the most popular ones on smartphones are emojis that include common objects, animals, plants, weather types, flags, places and cultural symbols such as the kimono, and are typically used on the regionally popular instant-messaging platform WhatsApp.

The increasing diversity of emoji genres means that there will always be something to add to the basket. For example, 15-year-old Rayouf Alhumedhi, from Saudi Arabia, has contacted the Unicode Consortium, which approves new emojis, to request ones representing the hijab and the ghutra. She has the backing of Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and it is hoped that it will happen next year. With hundreds of millions of Arab men and women proudly wearing traditional dress around the world, we should be asking why has it taken so long?

Published: September 25, 2016 04:00 AM

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