The Weeknd Donates $50,000 to the University of Toronto to Establish Ethiopic-Studies Program

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Photo: 2016 Getty Images

"The Hills" are alive with the sound of charitable giving. The Toronto Star reports that the Weeknd born Abel Tesfaye has donated an extremely generous $50,000 to the University of Toronto to create an Ethiopic-studies program. Tesfaye, whose parents immigrated from Ethiopia, "immediately" responded to the Bikila Award organization (which awarded the singer-songwriter its Professional Excellence Award two years ago) when they called him to request a potential donation. "It’s unbelievable," said Tam Gebeyehu, board member of the Bikila Award. "He grew up in Toronto as an Ethiopian-Canadian, and now he’s giving back to the community ... his donation helps us preserve our culture and share it with everyone else." The $50,000 will specifically contribute to a course on Ge'ez, "an ancient Ethiopian script and language also known as Ethiopic." The program is set to launch within the next year.