Following a wave of national and international media attention, the University of Toronto recently began offering the first course in Ge'ez studies - becoming one of the only Universities in the world where students can learn the language.
The course was made possible due to the remarkable support of Professor Michael Gervers, the University of Toronto, Grammy-Award winning star Abel Tesfaye (aka The Weeknd), and the Ethiopian community co-ordinated by Bikila Award. Together we have succeeded in raising $170,000 to launch the first course in Ge'ez.
U of T is committed to growing Ethiopian studies at the University, with the hope of adding further courses on Ethiopian language and culture. At a special Medieval Ethiopia Colloquium held earlier this month, Professor Suzanne Akbari, Director for the Centre of Medieval Studies, spoke of the University's vision to become a global leader in the field of Ethiopian Studies. “We're hoping that we can do more. The University of Toronto, as a public university, has limited funds, and it's only through raising an endowment that we can build a program. This is why we need everyone's help; and it's why every gift-even very small ones-is so important.”
I am writing to appeal for your support in helping to make this vision a reality. Professor Akbari announced that an anonymous donor has come forward to offer a matching challenge grant of up to $30,000 (CDN). That means that when you donate now, a contribution of equal value comes from an anonymous source and effectively doubles the impact of your giving. If you give $100, it will be matched by another $100, and the Ethiopic Language and Cultural endowment fund at U of T will receive a total of $200. Matching will continue cumulatively up to $30,000. Together, if we reach this goal, we will have raised over $230,000 for this wonderful initiative and progressed closer to establishing an Ethiopian Studies program at the University.
Last year you answered our call, and this year we hope that you will continue to rise to the challenge and join us in supporting Ethiopian Studies at U of T. Every contribution counts and will make a big difference in helping to ensure that Ethiopia's incredible cultural heritage in art, literature and language is preserved and recognized.
For further information or to donate online, select
Ethiopic Language and Culture Endowment https://donate.utoronto.ca/give/show/60
or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-978-4179.
Tessema Mulugeta, President, Bikila Award
Read our report from Mediaeval Ethiopia: A Colloquium