Leigh Cuen


Leigh Cuen

Journalist from California



GenderFlux—A Label For Those Who Eschew Labels

Gender-fluid blogger Elliott Alexzander couldn’t find something to wear—at least, initially. Which is what propelled the 22-year-old designer to create House of Alexzander, a personal Tumblr blog that combines fashion with cultural critique. What he didn’t expect was how well received his posts on gender variant style would become—garnering him a fierce following and sparking a business idea that would cater to him and his fans.
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How States Are Spending Their Marijuana Revenue

So far it looks like 2016 will be a great year for America's marijuana enthusiasts. This November, 12 states will vote on new marijuana legislation. Six states, including California and Massachusetts, are considering recreational use while six others, including Florida and North Dakota, are considering medical marijuana initiatives.

South Carolina Lawmaker Arrested After Alleged Domestic Violence

South Carolina lawmaker Chris Corley was arrested last week for allegedly beating his wife and threatening her with a gun. According to the incident report from the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, the Republican state representative punched his wife in the face until she bled and threatened to kill her in front of their children, ages 2 and 8.
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Israeli Designers Prove Wedding Dresses Aren’t Just for Brides

On the tree-lined streets of Ben Yehuda and Dizengoff in Tel Aviv-Yafo, rows of posh cafés, beauty parlors, bridal boutiques, and fashion studios stretch as far as the eye can see. The plethora of bridal salons continues south into the stone promenades of Yafo, one of the world’s oldest port markets.
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What It's Like to Have Your Period in a Women's Prison

Periods can turn a women's prison into a hormone-charged hell when inmates don't have access to affordable menstrual products and facilities don't enforce humane policies. The topic recently gained more attention after the launch of the fourth season of Netflix's Orange Is The New Black, which featured an episode centered around the facility's shortage of pads and tampons.

How Brexit Will Impact Mixed-Nationality Couples

"It feels like London is in shock," Asya Kovarsky, the Russian-Israeli wife of a British citizen, said in a Facebook message. "My husband is really upset about it. I don't want to move but I feel like he will not want to live here anymore." Kovarsky works in international relations and most of her London colleagues are foreign citizens.

Baltimore Riots Lead To A New Kind Of Activist Movement

The Baltimore riots have led to something previously unseen in the post-Ferguson civil rights movement: the almost immediate formation of an organized coalition of activists, with black churches at its foundation. A new grassroots group called Baltimore United for Change has been formed as a result of the current strife in Baltimore.
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In Iran, Instagram Provides A Platform For Women Entrepreneurs

As Iran and six nations including the United States are seeking to reach a nuclear deal, many of Tehran’s social media users are focused on fashion. Vocativ analyzed social media trends in Tehran this week using its unique geo-data technology and found that trending keywords include fashion, style and design, especially on Instagram.
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Underground Migrant Rescue: How A Facebook Network Is Saving Lives

A digital-only group is helping migrants navigate their way across the sea and to new lives in Europe. A group of Iraqi and Syrian volunteers led by a woman from Spain have banded together to run a digital network to help migrants taking to the seas to come to Europe. The group, identified by Vocativ deep web analysts, advises would-be travelers on everything from how to steer a boat to how to spot human traffickers known for threatening and abusing refugees.
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Sex Workers Want This 'Sex Trafficker' Set Free

Amber Batts, a 41-year-old former sex worker and operator of a prostitution network in Alaska, was locked up for five and a half years on Monday, convicted of sex trafficking and violating probation. Batts ran a statewide prostitution network, and the women who she handled, represented and protected now want her set free.
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Islamic Poet of Love

Eleventh-century Córdoba was at the heart of the rich culture of Muslim Andalusia. Among its greatest creative figures was Wallada, princess, patron and poet. Leigh Cuen rediscovers one of the most influential women writers in European history. Wallada Bint-al Mustakfi may be the most influential writer that historians ever forgot.

Arabs in Jerusalem Fear Attacks, Are Scared To Speak Arabic

Arabs who live in Jerusalem say they are afraid of police, soldiers and Jewish extremists as ethnic violence continues to flare in the Old City, particularly around the Temple Mount and al-Aqsa mosque. Across the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians have called for a “day of rage” on Friday, usually the Muslim day of prayers.
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Leigh Cuen

Culture writer with over five years experience in data journalism, social analysis and multimedia production. Co-founder of ONA Jerusalem, the first Online News Association group in the Middle East.

My work has been published in Spanish, French, Italian, Hebrew and Arabic.



  • Investigative Reporting
  • Book Reviews
  • Music Reviews
  • Feature Writing
  • News Reporting
  • Op-Ed Writing
  • Blogging
  • Social Media Strategy
  • Investigative Research
  • Photo Editing