Wasta Has a Long History As a Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Wasta has a long history as a way to manage relations through mediation and interception, but has implications as being a measure of corruption for both citizens and government officials. Citizens use wasta to get what they want from politicians and to make their decisions for them instead of taking responsibility for making their own decisions. Government officials use wasta to gainfully employ family and tribal members as well as to gain Parliament votes from citizens.

An Arabian blog viewed wasta as, "Friend of the bright lawyers and enemy of the ordinary, and virus plagued the community (Ocha). Instead of wasta working to promote people to independence, it is promoting people to be lazy and dependent by solving their problems and meeting all their needs for them. Wasta takes responsibility and the right to live independently away from citizens by doing everything for them. If wasta would teach them how to take action to meet their needs on their own, it would be teaching the citizens to work for their own right to independent living.

The Qatar World Values Survey (QWVS) conducted by The Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI) showed that most of the participants agreed that hard work brings success in the long run, but many felt that luck and connections brought about success (Huda). This survey shows that most people know that hard work brings success in the long run with consistent efforts. It also shows the dependency that some have gained on wasta. The feelings of luck and connections is referring to the prestigious connections of wasta and being lucky enough for wasta in having the connections that are needed to gain what success they are after without having to do the work themselves.

"Wasta has the right connections to gain promotions, jobs, university places, and more" (Vitamin W). The more connections a wasta has, the more valuable they are to citizens looking to gain something without having to take proper steps to achieve it on their own. In this respect, the citizens take advantage of wasta for personal gain instead of working for the gain they receive, which is wasta promoting people to laziness. With wasta having prestigious connections, it also leaves them open for abuse by citizens in demanding what they want because of the prestigious connections that wasta has.

Wasta means "connections, clout, influence or favoritism…" (Vitamin W). The meaning of wasta shows that a wasta is given favoritism that enables them to gain prestige and connections just because they are a wasta. It shows a sign of power from the position of being a wasta, not necessarily from who the wasta really is. Businesses and professionals would automatically give honor and prestige when a wasta approaches them. Because of this a wasta would not even have to work for the prestigious connections they receive from just being a wasta themselves. Society would honor and respect them regardless of who they are or what they have actually achieved in life. The name wasta can set up abuse from citizens because they know that wasta has connections they would not have just because of the wasta name.

The ability to secure employment that creates a relatively high living standard is viewed by families as reducing the need for higher education (Al-Nabit). If wasta gains employment opportunities and promotions for citizens, the need for higher education is reduced. At the same time, higher education is what is used for citizens to train and be prepared to perform job duties. If the citizens do not know how to perform the required job duties, the business suffers from untrained employees in advancing business strategies for revenues. The businesses also pay a higher costs to train employees and develop them into useful assets for the business operations which reduces the profits of a company. In this respect, wasta doing everything for citizens also robs the economy of a qualified workforce and revenues for expansion opportunities in creating more jobs for the economy.

"A study at Qatar University that tracked the 2004/05 cohort of newly enrolled Qatari students found that 45% dropped out within four years, compared to the OECD average of 38%" (Al-Nabit). This shows that as soon as wasta finds the student a good job, they have no need to finish school, so they drop out. This also effects education outcomes when colleges and universities are striving to meet standards. If students are only attending school waiting for opportunities to be presented by wasta, students will not take school seriously, therefore, dropping education outcomes with not learning what they really need to know from classes they are enrolled in to learn. And, therefore, they are not truly prepared to perform the positions that wasta gains for them. It also proves the independence that society has obtained on wasta to take responsibility for them instead of teaching them to learn to live independently where they learn to gain their own goals and achievements.

"Wasta…comes from an Arabia root (W-S-T) conveying the idea of "middle," and a wasta is someone who acts as a go-between" (Vitamin W). Besides gaining employment opportunities for people, wasta also handles conflict in families and society. By wasta doing all the talking and compromising for a family member, it may reduce the conflict, but it does not teach the family to communicate with each other in order to live together in an appropriate manner. It does not teach them problem solving skills or compromising measures to work together in a family or societal setting. This also affects the social environment of society. People would not have a need to work out their own social issues with wasta doing it all for them. All they would have to do is call wasta and the problem is handled for them. At the same time, they do not learn skills they need to properly live at peace in society or how to adequately build relationships with the world they live in. In this respect, wasta robs the social environment of society where meaningful relationships are not built.

Politicians using wasta to gain votes have become overwhelmed at meeting citizen demands causing maladministration in the government due to the lack of time for government duties in trying to meet citizen demands (Vitamin W). Where wasta acts as an intermediary between the government and citizens, the wasta bringing demands from the citizens to a government official would also bring great amounts of stress on the government officials. This stress is actually two fold because the wasta has prestige that has to be honored and the officials are working to keep citizens happy to keep and gain votes into the Parliament. With all the stress on the government officials, it leaves the government in chaos and gives lots of room for corruption.

"Wasta," the blogger known as Secret Dubai wrote, is "arguably the most valuable form of currency in much of the Middle East, far more effective than bribes and certainly more effective than following due process" (Vitamin W). Businesses can also use wasta to turn law to their own favor, whether it is for tax breaks or regulated standards. By using wasta to act as a voice for the business industry, pressure is put on government officials because of wasta and wanting to keep and gain the votes. The prestigious connections of wasta puts a greater amount of demand on the officials for the businesses to obtain the laws written the way they desire.

On the other hand, if citizens want certain programs, wasta's connections would create a higher demand for the citizens to obtain the exact programs they are seeking. In the respect that society does need programs for the people, this is good, but there is still room for abuse because it does not leave a…

Sources Used in Documents:


Al-Nabit, s. Expanding the Capacities of Quatari Youth. Jan 2012. Article. 22 Mar 2013.

Huda, NV. Can wasta bring in success? Many tells survey so. 4 May 2011. Article. 22 Mar 2013.

Ocha. Wasta..Enemy of the ordinary people and emitter to be lazy. 14 July 2012. Blog. 22 Mar 2013.

Vitamin W 5 July 2009. Article. 22 Mar 2013.

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