Talk like an Egyptian... with Egymojis

Talk like an Egyptian... with Egymojis

A graphic designer has come up with a set of Egyptian-themed emojis to let mobile phone users communicate in the language of modern Egyptian pop culture.
2 min read
13 Dec, 2016
You can currently download the keyboard extension on the iOS app store [Yasmine Nagui]
Are you Egyptian or do you have Egyptian friends? Have you ever been chatting with them and not been able to find the perfect emoji to express your inner desire to catch a ride in a toktok to buy some ful medames?

Well my friend, today is your lucky day because now you can; as one enterprising artist has made a whole set of emojis just for all the Egyptians and Egyptophiles out there.

Graphic designer Yasmine Nagui created more than 100 new emojis with the Egymojis app, allowing mobile phone users to express themselves in the street vernacular of the Arab world's most populous country.

The culturally-relevant designs include such Egyptian classics as the shebsheb (flipflops), the microbus, an amulet to ward off the evil eye and even a ful medames (slow cooked beans) cart.

Nagui told The New Arab that the lack of diversity within the original emoji set and their orientalist view of Middle Eastern culture was what inspired her to begin work on the project.

"I realised that we have very few visual languages that represent the Egyptian culture at all and the ones that do were not realistic at all."

      The ful cart is one of Nagui's favourite Egymojis [Yasmine Nagui]

"For example, you can easily find emojis portraying Pharaohs, the pyramids, or even belly dancers, but not ones that represent the current contemporary Egyptian culture at all."

The 23-year-old said that her favourite designs include the "raaaaaawa" (aaaaaawesome) and "ya laaaaaahwi" (oh my gooooood) emojis.

"I had a lot of fun doing research on funny online forums sifting through the most popular gifs and images in users' signatures," she added.

You can currently download Nagui's keyboard extension on the iOS app store and soon it will also be available on the Google Play Store for Android devices.

Who knows maybe one day the Egyptocentric pictograms will be added to the standard set, as last month new emojis depicting hijabis were accepted into Unicode 10 after a Saudi teenager rallied for more diversity in the colourful icons.

Earlier this year, an Egyptian cartoonist sparked controversy after he posted humorous emojis of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi - along with some of his most famous quotes.

"Don't you know you are the light of our eyes?" read one of the captions below a smiley Sisi wearing black shades.