03 June, 2006

Bloggers I need help (against…)

Wasta, what a word! Has no equivalent word in any other language, English, French, or Chinese, I told my American friend about it, it was the first time he heard of it, then I tried to explain its meaning to him, he was trying hard to figure what it really was, like it was came from an alien from the outer space, there was a strange expression on his face.

Wasta is our Jordan flavor for doing things, without it nothing works, it’s a form of ways to get a permission, or to be able to do things ,which without u can't do, in some countries they use bribes, in others power, the power of money, etc., but in Jordan we are more civilized! We just use Wasta, even the sound of this word is nice, and it keeps resonating like a soft music, wasta, ta ta ta.

But what does Wasta mean? For those who doesn't know Arabic, or may be non-Jordanian, we should define the word so it would be clear for them how much we are lucky to have such a word, this great word means that a person has to know someone else with high ranks, or authority, to be able to have a job, or do things, e.g. to be able to have a job in x company, u should know someone to call a manager in that company to help you get the job, even if you are unqualified, so its great to have a Wasta, isn't it?!!!!

Many argue that Wasta became a reality, and we have to accept it as a way of living, and have our Wasta to be able to get a good job, ok let us take that logic aside, and think of some other way to deal with this great phenomenon, lets accept that it’s a reality, and sometimes may be we can't do things without Wasta, but on the other hand do we do anything to change that reality? I don't think so, most of us accept it and say its impossible to change, one of the Jordanian impossibilities, I believe we can do something against it.

Some people think that Wasta is a she, and others think it’s a he, and I think it’s a shehe, the benefits of it works for both females and males, so it has no gender, we can neither say Miss /Mrs. Wasta, nor Mr. Wasta, but why do we care if she is or he is? We should be proud we have it.

Others say Wasta exists in other counties; it's not a Jordanian mark, what is that logic, which justifies it? Do we have to accept this bitter-sweet reality, or try to do something? I'm one who will try to do something, even if its considered to others nothing, I would be happy with this nothing, instead of standing and watching.

I tried to contact some of my friends who are graphic designers, and asked them to make a banner or logo against Wasta, so bloggers could easily use it, and put it on their blogs, declaring that we are not happy with this thing, but as those designers are lazy, and didn't believe in the idea, I really need help regarding making the banner, or whatsoever called, to publish and send it to bloggers, to be the first to do something against it.

Would any one help me in this task? Let's do something, bloggers I need your help.


Linda said...


In America the best translation for wasta would be the word:


n : favoritism shown to relatives or close friends by those in power (as by giving them jobs)

A slang word for that would be a "hook up" as in my friend hooked me up with front row seats to the madona concert because because hes dating her managers duaghter :P

that was just an example of how we use the phrase "hook up" but that phrase is used in other matters which is "ayb" for me to discuss ;)

also, a common thing said in America is when you work for a certain industry or community, for example in politics, or in entertainment, or in journalism, etc, beginners are commonly told "you dont want to 'Burn bridges'" meaning you dont want to burn the bridge or mess up the access you have to certain things through certain people. get it? the bridge is your "hook up" to something you want.

So yeah, wasta is well known here in the good old US of A. But i like the word wasta much better because it sounds more fun! and i tend to use it all the time i conversation with my older relatives because it makes them laugh and remember JOrdan :P

Tiger said...

Alternatively, there's always the way of Wasta = Connections. In business it's taught as networking in Organisational Behaviour.

Cross cultures, - it's human nature, the wasta connection :)

eyad said...

Dear Linda,intoxication,
thank u for the lessons :)

I really appreciate ur feedback, but seems no one is interested in the idea of the logo!!! :)

MommaBean said...

Can't help with the logo (none of that type of skill), but wanted to say that, in my humble opnion, both of the other commenters' explanations are neither rich nor encompassing enough for Wasta. If your American friend is REALLY interested, have him read "The Closed Circle". It's a long, very boring book that does an exceptional job of explaining the detail of this very complex concept. We don't have a word in English to do justice to the idea of Wasta.

hareega said...

In america you have "connections" even at the highest levels, for example Bush is appointing his friends in sensitive positions!

The difference that in America if youi want your friend or relative to get a job, you might recommend him but he should be fit for the job. Maybe others might be better than him and he'd still get that job because of his connection with you, but he would still be fit for the job and if he wasn't he might be fired. In jordan you can find stupid people getting important jobs that they don't deserve and nobody dares to criticize them le2anhom "mad3omeen"

Sapphire said...

Call it what ever you like, translate it in what ever way you choose... that doesn't change the fact that in reality it really means CORRUPTION !! and it's deadly to the ordinary guy,who may be talented,but lacks this vital vitamine "W".