Emojis are here to stay. The small, sometimes animated, images are more coveted than words  and if you’re not convinced, just look at recent developments. Predictive emoji is now supported by mobile operating systems to make choosing the right one a snap. You type a word and if there’s an emoji for that word, it appears in the recommendation bar above your keyboard. Cool, right? But what about culture and context? Since emoji is now a formal communication tool, it’s important that the icons become more diverse. Entrepreneurs, Yasmine Rasool and Eriko Varkey, are meeting that challenge with HALLA WALLA, the first Arab inspired emoji app.

HALLA WALLA – which roughly translates to ‘what’s up’ – is the new key emoji & sticker app that conveys the conversation of the Arab and Khaleej lifestyle. The app brings aspects of Arab culture to life and translates them into relatable characters and playful GIFs. Co-founder, Yasmine Rasool contends that  you can express every emotion from  angry to heavily in love – the Arab way.

Commenting on why HALLA WALLA was created, Eriko Varkey said, “Arabs have such a rich culture, but no emoticon to express online. In any situation – we use hand gestures, which are laden with emotion. So, to express that stress to hurry up when you are waiting hours for your friend to meet you at the coffee shop – what better way than by screaming YALLA! Hence the reason why HALLA WALLA was born.”

The HALLA WALLA keyboard emoji and sticker pack is available for both iOS and Android. Now, you can download the app from the App and Google Play stores, respectively. YALLA!

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