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Effects of Wasta in United Arab Emirates - Research Paper Example

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Wasta, in the United Arab Emirates, refer to the use of influences of acquaintances and relatives in the process of getting favors like employment opportunities. The term wasta is derived from the Arabic origin, w-s-T, which implies ‘middle’. So, it means intermediaries or go-betweens. …
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Effects of Wasta in United Arab Emirates
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Effects of Wasta in United Arab Emirates

Download file to see previous pages... Wasta can get one anything in the UAE, and the larger Middle East, starting from as low as getting water pipes fixed inside the house, getting quality hospital services to obtaining the best jobs in prestigious organizations (Whitaker, 2009). Wasta is related to nepotism somehow, in that; one is expected to provide favors to their kin or tribe members, who are given first priority. However, its definition as aforementioned, is not only limited to relatives, but to friends and acquaintances too. Wasta’s origin can be attributed to traditional Emirati way of life and beliefs. This is because Emiratis have long since valued familial relationships, including tribes and clans. Such relations in this society were maintained by the use of intermediaries. Whenever there were conflicts or disagreements, wasta was depended upon to mediate and help in the resolution of such problems, thus maintaining relationships. Wasta here could be an individual or group of people, allied to both sides of the conflicting parties. Besides, wasta was also used for intercessions in arrangements like marriages. It became rampant in the 20th century following the rise of Arab states. With time, it was the norm in the UAE and Middle East at large. These previously useful and valuable wastas have evolved into the current insidious types. However, the evolved wasta has been used to avoid and circumnavigate problems, as opposed to the traditional wasta that formed a way of resolving problems.
To obtain data helpful for this research, relevant questions were administered to the interviewees by use of open-ended questionnaires. The interviewees were mainly obtained by random sampling that targeted those working in offices. Both genders were equally represented to reduce bias occurrences in the study sample. The questionnaire questions were framed in such a way that the respondents were not limited in their answers, and were free to give their opinions based on their observations or personal experiences. Participation of the respondents was voluntary, and confidentiality of their personal details was affirmed. The questionnaire had slots for recording the names, age, gender, and professions of respondents. A wider professional circle was covered, ranging from lower ranked janitors to the top creme in offices, as well as the middle-income earners. From the interview, their knowledge of wasta was assessed and recorded, including whether or not they had experienced or merely seen it (Interview Responses, 2013). Their methods of handling such experiences were also asked including the side effects of wasta as they experienced or seen. Finally, a short but precise questionnaire ended by asking for their suggestions on how to rid Emirati society of wasta. From the questions, it was evident that the participants were aware of wasta and its effects. The possible side effects of wasta include discrimination against those qualified for job posts by employing one’s relatives. In addition to this, the workforce of Emirati can be filled with inexperienced and unqualified workers who are employed based on the wasta. Furthermore, it encourages laziness as most people no longer value hard work and studies since they will find jobs after all. However, the study also found out that the solving wasta is not easy, with some respondents hopeless if that will ever be achieved (Interview Respon ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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