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Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
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Leadership

Elida Dakoli, Ph.D.

Dr. Elida Dakoli overcame the political persecution of her family in Communist Albania to become an international concert pianist, published author, entrepreneur, human rights activist, and educator. She is the great-granddaughter of Attorney Hysen Myshketa, one of the founders of the first Albanian Congress in 1921 and a staunch advocate for Albanian democracy. Following his assassination at the hands of the communist regime, her family was persecuted for their pro-democracy political affiliations. Sadik Dakoli, her paternal grandfather was killed in the communist camps.

Dr. Dakoli has performed on some of the world’s most prestigious stages, including Brahms-Saal, Rathaus, Carnegie Hall, and Merkin Concert Hall, to name a few.  She has appeared as a guest artist and speaker on several national and international channels including A2CNN, Voice of America, and BBC. In 2018, one of her interviews about communist injustices sparked a movement in Albania. The ensuing movement lobbied the United Nations for funds to aid in the recovery of the mass graves of communist labor camps. Only two have been found to date.

Dr. Dakoli currently serves on the faculty of the Dallas Baptist University and is the Founder and Executive Director of the Dallas Institute of Musical Advancement. She received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Music in Tirana, her Masters from Baylor University, and her Doctorate in musical studies from Louisiana State University. She is the author of Aleksander Peci: Albanian Music Before and After the Iron Curtain and serves as a Mason and Hamlin Artist as well as the image of and recording artist for PianoDisc.