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  • Gilad Almosnino

Eight Emojis that will create a more inclusive experience for Middle Eastern markets

My recent trip to the Jerusalem Light Festival helped me realize how much the Middle Eastern markets are underrepresented in terms of Emoji selection. A quick browse thru the Emojipedia confirmed my suspicion, there are very few if any Middle Eastern Emojis available thru todays leading platforms (Windows, iOS, Android, WhatsApp, Facebook)

The Emoji Report which analyzed the use of emoji across Twitter, claims that volume and variety of emojis have skyrocketed over the past 10 years. An astonishing 95% of humans online have used emojis, making it the internet's most popular language.

So what are some of the emojis that could possibly make a more inclusive experience for Middle Eastern markets?


"Depicting the open right hand, an image recognized and used as a sign of protection in many times throughout history, the Hamsa is believed by some, predominantly Muslims and Jews, to provide defense against the evil eye. It has been theorized that its origins lie in Ancient Egypt or Carthage (modern-day Tunisia) and may have been associated with the Goddess Tanit" - Hamsa @ Wikipedia

Turkish or Arabic Coffee:

"Turkish coffee is made by bringing the powdered coffee with water and usually sugar to the boil in a special pot called cezve in Turkey, and often called ibrik elsewhere. The coffee is traditionally served in a special type of small porcelain cup called a kahve finjanı" - Turkish Coffee @ Wikipedia


"Hummus is a Levantine dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas or other beans, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and garlic. It is popular in the Middle East and Mediterranean, as well as in Middle Eastern cuisine around the globe" - Hummus @ Wikipedia


The most prominent domesticated animal in the middle east, yet it earned a surprisingly plain presentation from all major Emoji designers, its time to bling up the Camel 🐫 emoji with a beautiful colorful saddle that will highlight its unique history and personality.


A popular item throughout the Middle East, the Hookah is often found in Coffee shops located within open air city markets. "A hookah is a single- or multi-stemmed instrument for vaporizing and smoking flavored cannabis, tobacco (often Mu‘assel), or sometimes opium, whose vapor or smoke is passed through a water basin—often glass-based—before inhalation" Hookah @ Wikipedia

Keffiyeh & Agal

"a traditional Arab headdress, or what is sometimes called a habit, worn in the Middle East with origins from the Fertile Crescent (Iraq, the Levant, and Egypt) fashioned from a square scarf, usually made of cotton " - Keffiyeh @ Wikipedia

Kippah and Taqiyah:

"The term kippah (Hebrew: כיפה) literally means "dome", as the kippa is worn on the head like a dome. The same concept is used in Islam, in which the term taqiyah, which refers to a skullcap worn for religious purposes, is derived from Persian ṭāq (طاق) which means 'arch'" - Kippah @ Wikipedia

Sheikh & Sheikha:

"A honorific title in the Arabic language. It commonly designates the ruler of a tribe or a royal family member, who inherited the title from his father. "Sheikh" is given to a royal male at birth and the related title "Sheikha" is given to a royal female at birth" Sheikh & Shikha @ Wikipedia

Looking to create a more inclusive multilingual experience?

Check out my recent articles on the topic of multilingual UX:

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