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Teen behind hijab emoji: 'I just wanted an emoji of me'

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Posted at 9:57 AM, Jul 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-19 10:00:12-04

When a 16-year-old Saudi girl proposed the idea for a hijab emoji last year, she knew the character would cause some controversy.

But overall Rayouf Alhumedhi said the “Muslim community will benefit” from the  headscarf-wearing emoji, CNN reported.

Alhumedhi’s idea was unveiled Monday on World Emoji Day as one of the new characters that will be available on Apple devices later this year.

Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted about the collection of new emojis Monday, and the hijab character received mixed reactions. One man said it supports the “oppression of women.”

But others are praising the new emoji.

Alhumedhi said she sent a draft of the idea to Unicode Consortium, the non-profit corporation that reviews and develops new emojis, because she didn’t feel represented.

"I wanted to be represented, as simple as that. I just wanted an emoji of me,” she told CNN.