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Title: Between the Physical and the Psychosocial: Women's Perceptions of Health in the Old City of Nablus.
Authors: Giacaman, Rita
Issue Date: 1993
Publisher: Gaza National Committee for Rehabilitation, Diakonia and Birzeit University
Abstract: This essay discusses the perceptions on health and illness ofwomen in the Old City of Nablus, Palestine, during the Palestinian Uprising, the first Intifada, which began in 1988 and ended in the first part ofthe 1990's. The study was carried out between 1991-1992, a period when the Intifada was dominating the lives and the everyday routines ofthe Palestinian population. The basic demographic and socio-economic data and women's narratives that are presented here were conceptualized and expressed in terms ofwomen 's life stages or life cycles that have been shaped and modified by exceptional political circumstances, circumstances that have had dramatic effects on the economic and cultural aspects oflife in this basically poor urban community. The narratives ofthe interviewed women present complex and multifaceted views on health and illness as a continuum, influenced by a mix of external factors - political and environmental - as well as internal influences - childbearing, aging, ability to cope. Health is portrayed as a valuable asset that is a combination ofthe physical, the psychosocial and the political. Health is seen as divinely governed yet, with space for human intervention, and vulnerable to the ill effects of the evil eye - Hassad. Health and illness are ultimately visualized in terms ofthe ability to cope and to manage stressful situations and difficult life events
Appears in Collections:Institute of Community and Public Health

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