Christo Dako

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Christo Anastas Dako
Photo of Kristo Dako (1876–1941) in 1919.jpg
Born (1876-12-21)December 21, 1876[a]
Korçë, Manastir Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
Died December 26, 1941(1941-12-26) (aged 65)
Nationality Albanian
Occupation Politician, publisher, scholar
Spouse(s) Sevasti Qiriazi

Christo Dako (Albanian: Kristo Dako, 1876[a]–1941), son of Anastas Dako, was an Albanian patriot and publisher of the early 20th century.

Born in Korçë, in the Manastir Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire in 1876 Dako later migrated to Bucarest, Romania, where he finished high school and later the Faculty of Mathematics. Though he had studied mathematics, Dako's passion was in ancient history. He was the strong supporter of the thesis that Albanians are descendants of the ancient Illyrians, Epirotes, and Macedonians, one of the pillars of Albanian Nationalism. Dako was the husband of Sevasti Qiriazi, Albanian patriot and pioneer of female education in Albania, from the well known Kyrias (Albanian: Qiriazi) family of Monastir. The couple met in Bucharest, and moved to the US in 1907.[1] Dako pursued there a degree in philosophy. He is remembered for initiating and opening the first Albanian school in US in 1908, located in Natick, MA. Petro Nini Luarasi taught there between others.[2]

Dako returned shortly in Albania in June 1911, right in the middle of the Albanian Revolt of 1911, together with Charles Richard Crane of Chicago. There he would be imprisoned for a short time due to his nationalistic activities. He was released afternoon with Crane's intervention, and his persecutor Şevket Turgut Pasha immediately removed from the Ottoman authorities. Charles Crane would become one of the few lobbyists of Albania at that time, allegedly managing to influence the American government on lobbying for Albania towards the British during the London Conference of 1912–13.[3]

An editor of the Dielli magazine and chairman of Vatra, the Pan-Albanian Federation of America in 1913.[4] In 1914, he shortly visited his home town in Albania. Due to later divergences with Fan Noli, he partly retired from Vatra. In 1918 he would join the "Albanian Political Party" (Albanian: Partia Politike Shqiptare). In 1916, he published the short-lived (8 issues) newspaper Bilioteka Zeri i Shqiperise ("Voice of Albania Library") in Southbrigde, MA. Dako later participated in the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. He met twice with then United States president Woodrow Wilson, and explained to him the Albanian national aspirations.

Dako also became minister of education in one of Ahmet Zogu's cabinets. Apparently Zogu showed respect for Dako, and shortly met him in the eve of the Italian Invasion of 1939, asking for US support through Dako's connections. Because of this affiliation, Dako's name would be thrown in darkness during the communist regime of post WWII.[3] His family would be persecuted (including his sister in law Parashqevi) and two sons would be arrested and imprisoned.[5]

Probably the most important achievement of Dako is the founding of the Higher Institute of Girls "Qiriazi", in Korçë and later in Kamëz, Tiranë.

Who are the Albanians (in Albanian) from Christo Dako, published in Monastir, 1911

Works[edit]

  • Cilet jane Chqipetaret? ("Who are the Albanians?"), Monastir, 1911
  • Albania, the master key to the near east, Boston, 1919
  • Liga e Prizrenit ("The League of Prizren"), Bucharest, 1922
  • Shenime historike nga jeta dhe vepra e Nalt Madherise se tij Zogu i Pare, Mbret i Shqiptarevet ("Historical notes from the life and works of His Highness Zog First King of Albanians"), Tirana, 1937

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes:

a. ^ Elsie places year of birth as 1878, while all Albanian sources cite 1876

References

  1. ^ Robert Elsie (March 19, 2010). Historical Dictionary of Albania. Historical Dictionaries of Europe. 75 (II ed.). Scarecrow Press. pp. 97–98. ISBN 978-0810861886. 
  2. ^ Rozi Theohari (2008-06-03), Festa e abetares ne shkollen shqipe te Bostonit [The Primer's Feast in Albanian school in Boston] (in Albanian), Boston: Ballikombi.org, retrieved 2014-10-22, Historikisht, shkolla e parë shqipe në Amerikë është hapur më 1908 në Netik të Massaçusetts, nga iniciatori dhe mësuesi Kristo Dako , ku ka dhënë mësim edhe patrioti e mësuesi i shqipes Petro Nini Luarasi.[Historically, the first Albanian school in US was opened in 1908 in Natick, MA, with teacher Christo Dako as initiator, where even the Albanian teacher Petro Nini Luarasi taught...] 
  3. ^ a b SPECIALE KRISTO DAKO pjesa 1 (YouTube) (in Albanian). ABC News. 2011-10-10. Retrieved 2014-10-22. 
  4. ^ Schwandner-Sievers, Stephanie (2002). Albanian identities: myth and history. Indiana University Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-253-21570-3. 
  5. ^ Luarasi, Petro, Familja atdhetare Qiriazi dhe mjeshtri i madh i turpit (T.B.) (in Albanian), PrishtinaPress, archived from the original on February 1, 2014, Si rezultat i kësaj të motrat dhe familjet e tyre u bënë object përndjekjesh nga ana e regjimit. Dy djemtë e Sevastisë u burgosën si spiunë. Djali i vogël , Gjergji, duke mos u bërë dot ballë torturave, vrau veten më 1949. Pak më vonë vdiq edhe Sevastia, nga hidhërimi i thellë për humbjen e të birit.[As a result of this both sisters and their families became target of persecution from the regime. Both sons of Sevasti were imprisoned as "spies". The younger son, Gjergj, not resisting to the tortures, killed himself in 1949. Soon after Sevasti died, from the big despair of losing her son...]