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Saudi Teen Launches Campaign For Hijab Emoji

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Emojis can express love, laughter and sadness, sports, food and symbols. But emojis have a diversity problem. They don't show faces in all the hues and varieties of humanity. This moved a young Saudi teenager to design a new emoji.

Fifteen-year-old Rayouf Alhumedhi, who now lives in Germany, was disappointed to see no emoji for women who wear headscarves. She explained to the BBC that showing the hijab in the emoji world is important.

RAYOUF ALHUMEDHI: People want to be acknowledged. People want to be recognized. Emojis are everywhere nowadays. After added the different skin tone emojis, there was a huge buzz because, finally, people felt represented.

ALHUMEDHI: Rayouf Alhumedhi was referring to new emojis that were released last year that include people with different skin tones. She's written an extensive proposal to Unicode Consortium, an organization that promotes and develops new emojis. And she's also included an emoji of a man wearing a keffiyeh. Rayouf Alhumedhi hopes to hear back from the consortium about her proposal in November. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.