Renowned Albanian-American Translator Pirro Dollani Passes Away

Pirro Dollani wearing a black suit and white shirt (archive)
 Pirro Dollani wearing a black suit and white shirt (archive)
The Albanian-American community is in mourning following the news of the passing of translator Pirro Dollani, a close and early friend of poet Sami Mulaj. Sami Mulaj expressed deep sadness, calling it a shocking loss for the entire Albanian-American community.

Mulaj conveyed his sorrow for himself, Dollani's many friends, and his wonderful family. He highlighted Dollani's role as an outstanding figure in Albanian-American literature, a creator, and a passionate musician. Dollani was a contemporary master of the library and the translation of Albanian literature into English, leaving a lasting impact on the community.

Gëzim Kabashi reported that Pirro Dollani, a well-known translator from English, passed away around 19:00 at a university hospital in Washington DC, where he had been hospitalized for days. Dollani fought for over 12 years against a severe illness, which he endured with medical care in the USA and, above all, with the willpower and determination that characterized him throughout his life.

Pirro Dollani began working as a laborer in several enterprises in Durrës. After completing higher education, he started teaching language and literature in elementary and high schools in the city. Dollani excelled as a violinist in the symphony orchestra from the 1960s and later in the organization of artistic groups. During the democratic processes, he worked in the culture section of the Executive Committee and later as the director of the public library in the city. After 1994, he moved with his family to Las Vegas, where he worked at the University of Nevada.

Pirro Dollani translated twelve books from Albanian to English and vice versa. Despite serious health concerns, he visited his birthplace almost every year, and Durrës honors him as one of the intellectuals who made significant contributions to the country.

In an interview years ago, Dollani mentioned that he entered the world of translation when a chair in his department asked him to translate Ismail Kadare's novel "Ditë Kafenesh" ("Coffeehouse Days") into English.

He recalled the year 2004 when this translation was published in Las Vegas as a luxurious edition with specially produced paper and a metal cover. Moreover, all copies were signed by the author Ismail Kadare.

Pirro Dollani was a crucial figure in organizing the international poetry festival "Poeteka" in Durrës since 2004, bringing renowned American literary figures to Albania. He collaborated with the National Theater in 2010, translating the drama "Permanent Collection" by Thomas Gibson, featuring Hollywood director and actor Clarence Gilliard and well-known Albanian actor Mirush Kabashi.

The passing of Pirro Dollani is a significant loss for the Albanian-American community, marking the end of an era for an intellectual who contributed immensely to the promotion of Albanian literature and culture.
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