The Unicode Consortium has announced the approval of 51 new emojis that include the much anticipated hijab emoji along with a prayer emoji for Muslims. The shortlisted emojis are expected to be encoded in the upcoming Unicode 10 next year.
The 51 new emojis also feature a woman breastfeeding a baby, a bearded man and a woman practicing yoga.
The hijab emoji was first introduced by Rayouf Alhumedhi, a 15-year-old Muslim girl who submitted a proposal to Unicode. The emoji featured on Unicode’s proposal looks remarkably similar to that of Alhumedhi’s.
The Consortium also notes that it may consider adding an emoji of a male headscarf or keffiyah predominantly worn by men in the Middle East.
Emojis a have become a crucial way of communication in the digital age where millions use them to convey feelings and appearance.
The inclusion of the hijab emoji was welcomed on Twitter as a triumph for diversity.
A hijab emoji. In a world that is increasingly backwards, there is hope that technology will continue to be progressive. https://t.co/W5ZBo7Rx4K
— Ridha Hassoun (@ridhahassoun) November 11, 2016
— Dazed (@Dazed) November 11, 2016
Creating a woman in a hijab emoji is another small step forward! https://t.co/4qVgYnbRMX
— .james. (@panja47) November 11, 2016
It is worth mentioning that the emojis, though approved, may not make it to the final version of Unicode 10 and can vary in design shown in Unicode’s documentation.