Wasta is very much a part of Qatari culture

Wasta is very much a part of Qatari culture

mohdnoor
By mohdnoor

Pulling strings in government offices to get a job, a contract or simply to get some work done is a way of life and a matter of social prestige in Qatar. This is called wasta.

Wasta loosely translates from Arabic into "who you know" and generally represents one's clout business or other dealings.

However, Qatar has been taking steps to eliminate its wasta culture from business dealings as part of its crackdown on corruption and bribery.

Yes, wasta can be considered a form of bribery according to Robert Musgrove, a leading legal expert in the country.

“You look at the bribery act in the UK, and one man’s bribery is another man’s way of doing business. This region involves things like gifts. It is not necessarily given with the intent to influence; it is given with the intent to demonstrate status, friendliness and openness," Musgrove was quoted as saying on Arabian Business.

Back when Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani was the emir of Qatar, measures had been taken to eliminate corruption and bribery.

In 2011, Qatar had set up an anti-corruption watchdog to track state ministries and agencies and to probe claims of abuses of power or public funds.

It was also suggested that a government employee should not own or manage a private business or even be on the board of a listed company. However, this has been impossible to implement as most Qataris own or have a stake in businesses.

While wasta was being used to bribe government officials and win multi-million dollar tenders in Qatar, some have been using their clout for trivial things like landing a job (pun intended).

However, the people who manage to land employment using influence sometimes find it hard to get acceptability in the workplace, according to this 2014 report from The Peninsula.

Saleh Al Anzi says that he did voluntary work in an organisation and later got a job there using the influence of the top official, but it took him time and effort to become friendly with his colleagues.

“People wouldn’t talk to me, and although I was a university graduate, I felt like I wasn’t welcome there,” said Al Anzi, narrating his bitter experience.

“People, perhaps, didn’t like the fact that I had landed the job using influence with the top man there.”

“I tried talking to people. I tried really hard, but no one would reciprocate. It took a long time to be friendly with my colleagues, and it was only after I proved with my work that I indeed had the ability,” said Al Anzi.

Dr Batool Mohiuddin, who teaches psychology at Qatar University, told the daily that using wasta is a common thing in the Qatari community and carries social prestige.

“People feel proud abusing the system,” she said.

Using wasta is not just a Qatari thing, so to say. People in the GCC like to boast about walking into a government department and getting work done in seconds.

This animated video that aired on MBC illustrates how having a wasta is better than having a magic lamp and genie at your disposal.

According to a popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Al Buanain, the use of wasta wasn’t permitted in Islam because it amounted to depriving a deserving person of what was rightfully his.

Have you ever used your wasta to get things done?

By myalkadhi• 3 years 6 days ago.
myalkadhi

I love pasta!

By Molten Metal• 5 years 3 months ago.
Molten Metal

It is natural for a human to face less difficulties if there is some one to lead your way ........ nothing wrong in it ............ For some grapes are sour that is why this topic ..........

By qusims774• 5 years 3 months ago.
qusims774

Good article ..

I hope seeing an article about driving license wasta as well !! and the modules that they are depending on to give a license to someone !?

By sneakerhead• 5 years 3 months ago.
sneakerhead

using of position or power to get an advantage, especially for money OR PERSONAL GAIN?? it is a corruption for me in my opinion...

By Mufti Shahid• 5 years 3 months ago.
Mufti Shahid

We have something similar in India and we call it 'Sufarish'. I think it is the same in Pakistan.

By lucky2masi• 5 years 3 months ago.
lucky2masi

I will take Brit from next time as a Waasta...

By britexpat• 5 years 3 months ago.
britexpat

I remember taking my Cuban Shotputter to a fancy restaurant and using Wasta to get the best table

By fubar• 8 years 3 months ago.
fubar

The difference is khalliwalli, that you are saying that people push in ahead of other and screw them over while being fully aware that what they are doing is wrong and purely self-serving. But others seem to think that when they push ahead of others and screw them over, they are just being sensible, and they aren't hurting anyone.

Are they really that stupid, or just self-deluded?

By fubar• 8 years 3 months ago.
fubar

The difference is khalliwalli, that you are saying that people push in ahead of other and screw them over while being fully aware that what they are doing is wrong and purely self-serving. But others seem to think that when they push ahead of others and screw them over, they are just being sensible, and they aren't hurting anyone.

Are they really that stupid, or just self-deluded?

By fubar• 8 years 3 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
fubar

But that means when you go to a bank, and you can't be bothered waiting your turn, so you skip ahead in the line, that someone else who arrived earlier than you might not be able to complete his task because he won't have time. That seems like a very selfish and unethical thing to me, but maybe I had a different upbringing to people in this country. I had old fashioned parents who taught me that I should wait my turn and not believe that I am more special and more deserving than others.

By Drlokesh13• 8 years 3 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Drlokesh13

Yea that's right That's prevalent everywhere in the world.Well Wasta and corruption should not be taken as synonymous,There is no body in the world who never made use of his Wasta anywhere in the world.e.g. You went to a bank and you realised there is so much of crowd you will not get a chance to finish your work today, but then you recall you know somebody here whom you obliged sometime in your life, you call him request him, he helps you out, so is it corruption, No, That how our social system works. If you have helped anyone in your lifetime you'll definitely be rewarded,someway or the other.

By nijam4u• 8 years 3 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
nijam4u

This is a universal practice. its not only in qatar, but it is wide spread across the globe!!

By fubar• 8 years 3 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
fubar

Wasta is much more obvious here than in other countries. It's the kind of thing that people do proudly here, but would get you fired in another country.

I'm very surprised that it is also against the teachings of Islam.

By sajjad gillani• 8 years 3 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
sajjad gillani

Wasta is creating depression in our lives. Discouraging people to work hard and straight.

By coxtown• 8 years 3 months ago.
coxtown

In other words, wasta generates "faida" at times, which is to be restricted other wise it will breed

corruption as commented by Khalliwalli.

By BOXBE16DOBARA• 8 years 3 months ago.
BOXBE16DOBARA

khaliwali...being born here myself...i never made use of that..iam an educated person and if i need anything it should come by my own hard work walking to my doors...not i should go and knock others door and beg

By BOXBE16DOBARA• 8 years 3 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
BOXBE16DOBARA

it is the people who is doing and not whether he is muslim or non muslim...this thing called wasta is in almost all part of the world

By BOXBE16DOBARA• 8 years 3 months ago.
BOXBE16DOBARA

Yes i agree to zafirah

By zafirah• 8 years 3 months ago.
zafirah

I don't think it's corruption. because you can use them without monetary benefits for them. it's more on "power" trip.... and showing off... :)

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