245891 Tunisia and Egypt: Revolutionary moments in health promotion practice

Monday, October 31, 2011: 5:10 PM

Sawsan Abdulrahim, PhD , Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, Lebanon, Beirut, Lebanon
The first few weeks of 2011 witnessed two revolutionary moments in Tunisia and Egypt with clear socialist undertones and demands for the redistribution of national resources. In this paper, I reflect on the two recent experiences in Tunisia and Egypt through juxtaposing concepts and language from health promotion practice. First, I examine the root or fundamental social causes that led to health-demoting structural conditions which the masses could no longer accept. Following, I discuss the specific events that sparked each revolution through the lens of behavior change theories. Specifically, I employ constructs such as cue to action, self-efficacy, and stages of change to describe how masses broke the fear barrier, became more self-efficacious, and moved from pre-contemplation to action. The paper then moves to describing how the community concept of collective efficacy translated into the spontaneous formation of popular committees that took charge of neighborhood security, clean-up, and caring for the injured. An important element in both moments was the creative use of social media and the building of virtual communities, and in the paper I examine the diffusion of the revolution-as-innovation process. Finally, I examine the two revolutions as exemplary structural interventions in which ordinary citizens employed their bodies, voices, and hand-written signs to break the cycles of marginalization and inequity. Whereas the sustainability of the two interventions remains to be seen, events leading to their climax deserve attention from progressive health promotion professionals. In this paper, I present a modest reflection and evaluation.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe main elements of the recent/ongoing Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions 2. Justapose health promotion concepts and theories to explain the progress of the revolutions and the social causes that led to them 3. Examine the two revolutions as exemplary structural interventions to end inequity and health demoting conditions

Keywords: International, Global Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author on the content I am responsible for because I am the author of the paper on which the abstract is based
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.