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Palestinians Address 'Online Emotions' on World Emoji Day


Asharq Al-Awsat


Omar Jabr, 25, a Palestinian who lives in Rafah, Gaza Strip, takes his time before choosing the emojis that express the thoughts he wants to share with his followers on social media. That's because he knows well that today, everyone can read people's minds through these emojis that have invaded the world.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Jabr said the diversity and simplicity of these stickers prompt people to use them, noting that these small symbols send a short and clear message that can be understood by any individual regardless of his language, religion, and culture.
Every year, internet and social media users celebrate the World Emoji Day on July 17, the same day on which Apple launched its iCal in 2002 (symbols used in Calendar on Mac devices).
According to recent data, the used emojis have exceeded 3000, promoted by many companies and developers who own apps in online stores.
Anwar Sultan, an employee in her thirties working in a private company, said emojis were "online emotions" that save many words and express the mood of its sender.
Sultan said she uses emojis frequently in her professional and familial conversations, and praised a recent WhatsApp feature that allows users to design their stickers. The new feature gives her more space, and the chance to design special images of her kids, family members, and friends with funny captions, she explained.
For his part, Mahmoud Jadalla from the central Gaza strip told Asharq Al-Awsat that he is creative when it comes to selecting stickers during conversations with his friends.
He said the use of stickers entertain him being a heavy Internet user, especially that he has been spending long hours online since he lost his job as a physiotherapist in a local hospital.
According to the "Sotor" website, emojis were created in 1997 with the invention of the first Japanese phone that was equipped with 90 symbols. Two years later, the emojis set was expanded to reach 180, designed by developers to feature details of people's daily life and some natural landscapes.

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