Yola Monakhov, then 25 years old, is hugged by a grandmother upon arrival to her home in Kosovo 1999 as the war was coming to an end. Photo by ©Yunghi Kim/ Contact Press Images

She Traveled the World, Faced Every Danger and Hardship. Now, She is Home and at Peace.

For two decades the story of a young American, female photojournalist, etched in film, remained stored in my file cabinet. It was time for these images to see the light of day and to tell the story of Yola Monahkov.

Yola’s scars from multiple operations, Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital, Jerusalem where she took her first steps in 2001. Photo by ©Yunghi Kim/ Contact Press Images
One of our walks in the Old City, Jerusalem, Israel winter, 2001. Photo by ©Yunghi Kim /Contact Press Images
Xray showed Yolas shattered pelvis bones which were in pieces, slowly starting to come together and heal. Photo by ©Yunghi Kim/ Contact Press Images
Yola’s hospital room at the Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital. Photo by ©Yunghi Kim / Contact Press Images
(left) Yola Monakhov in the Old City of Jerusalem, walks by Israeli soldiers in 2001. (right) Summer vacation and visiting family in Brooklyn, NY in 2019 with her sons Thomas, 5, and Leopold, 8. Photos by ©Yunghi Kim/Contact Press Images
Yola Monakhov in her Jerusalem hospital bed reading in 2001. (right) With her son Leopold, 8, reading in 2019, in Brooklyn, NY. Photos by ©Yunghi Kim/Contact Press Images
Yola Monahkov plays with a child in the hospital hallway, 2001, and, right, in 2019 with her son, Leopold, 8, in Brooklyn, NY. Photos by ©Yunghi Kim
Yola Monakhov Stockton in her hospital room in Jerusalem which had a sink and a mirror in 2001, and 2019 portrait in Brooklyn, NY. Photos by ©Yunghi Kim/Contact Press Images
Yola Monakhov in Brooklyn, NY with her sons Thomas 5, and Leopold, 8 . Photo by ©Yunghi Kim/ Contact Press Images.
Yola Monakhov Stockton with her two boys Leopold ,8, and Thomas ,5, summer of 2019 in Brooklyn, NY. Photo by ©Yunghi Kim/ Contact Press Images
2019 picture of Yola Monakhov with 5 year old Thomas. Photo by ©Yunghi Kim/ Contact Press Images
Photojournalists Yunghi Kim, Yola Monakhov, and Paula Bronstein climbed on top of Shah E Kot mountain, Afghanistan, March 2002. To get to the top, was a four-hour steep climb to the summit. At the top, we were met by soldiers from the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division. It turned out they monitored our climb the entire time with binoculars, and helicopters. As we approached the top, we held our hands and cameras up. They also heard much of our (personal) conversations because of the echo effect of the valley. We decided to climb after seeing reflecting lights coming from the top of the mountain; something was going on, someone was up there, we were curious. It turns out it was related to Operation Anaconda. We took pictures of the majestic view, of soldiers watching the base of the valley with binoculars, and suspected Al Queda below, and took this souvenir picture with the unit’s commander, and then we went back down, which took us two hours. Photo by ©Yunghi Kim/ Contact Press Images
  • A special thanks to Ken Jarecke’s edit of pictures and words. Two images next to each other, to show the contrast, were his edit. And always further delicate edit by Jeffrey D. Smith, Director of Contact Press Images.
  • Stories highlighting womens role in photojournalism: 10 World Press Photo Awards, 10 Backstories and One Piece Of Advice.
  • RECENT PROJECT TrailblazersOfLight, Pioneering women of Photojournalism. Twitter @TrailblazersofL, Instagram @trailblazersofLight
  • All photographs are copyright registered with the Libary Of Congress, Copyright Yunghi Kim. All Rights Reserved. Please respect photographer copyright, please do not repost photographs.



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Yunghi Kim

Photojournalist • Yunghi Grant • YunghiKim.Com • TW: @Yunghi • FB: YunghiKim.Photojournalist • Instagram: Yunghi.Kim • Project: TrailblazersOfLight.com