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Culture

Saudi girl proposes headscarf emoji to Unicode Consortium

A 15-year-old Saudi girl living in Germany realized that she -- a Muslim who wears headscarves -- wasn't represented by any of the existing emojis and decided to take action.

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The proposed headscarf emoji.

Aphelandra Messer/Screenshot by Dong Ngo

Apparently, Apple still hasn't done enough to boost its emoji diversity.

Rayouf Alhumedhi, a Saudi teenager living in Germany, sent a proposal to the Unicode Consortium -- a nonprofit that reviews and develops standard modern character sets used in computers -- with an emoji for headscarf, reported the BBC.

A member of a Unicode subcommittee replied and offered to help draft a formal proposal which might be presented to Unicode in November. If approved, her emoji would be available in 2017.

In an interview with BBC, Alhumedhi revealed that she and her friends, who often hang out in group chat, found out one day that there was no emoji that represented her, a Muslim woman who wears a headscarf. She first complained to Apple to no avail and decided to take action.

The proposal has gained some online of traction. Alhumedhi held an Ask Me Anything, or AMA, session on Reddit Tuesday to discuss the idea.

In the past few months, the debate on religious freedom has been a hot topic in Europe, especially since France first banned the use of the burkini and then lifted the ban soon after.