Soon messaging apps could get a hijab emoji iStock

A 15-year-old teenager, Rayouf Alhumedhi, from Saudi Arabia has made a proposal to Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit that governs the creation and approval of emojis to include a hijab emoji. The high school student who currently lives in Berlin is being backed by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and if the proposal is approved, a hijab emoji could make its way to messaging apps by 2017.

"Roughly 550 million Muslim women on this earth pride themselves on wearing the hijab," the proposal reads. "With this enormous number of people, not a single space on the keyboard is reserved for them," it goes on to say.

Alhumedhi says the idea of such an emoji came up when she was chatting with her friends and did not find an appropriate emoji to represent herself. She then read up on how easy it was to propose an emoji as anyone could do it and went ahead with the idea.

While praising Unicode's diversification of emojis she says: "We applaud Unicode for the diversification of emojis in recent years. However, this does not mean it should stop now. With the amount of difference in this world, we must be represented.

"The woman in the headscarf would be a terrific addition to the mosque and Islam symbol emojis, as the hijab is one of the most globally recognised iconic representations of Islam."

Although Alhumedhi initially wrote just a few paragraphs, a member of the Unicode sub-committee got back to her to help her draft a more formal proposal which is almost seven pages now. If all goes well, the emoji could be approved by November and announced as a new emoji in 2017 for different operating systems to lend their support to it.