You will meet a lot of people with “wasta”.. People who know people. People who can do things for you , and to you. This is common in KSA. People continuously brag about who they know and what they can do to other people. Some people get really impressed by this and engage these people with “wasta” to do things for them. They praise them. Buy them gifts. Give them money.
Never do that.
Someone powerful and someone who can cause things to happen for you , will not do so until they really know you. So, if someone comes to you and says they can get something done for you because they know someone powerful, be very careful.
I know of a lady who lost close to SR500,000 for some guy with wasta, because she chose to fall in love with him and continuously bragged about his “wastas”… She kept spending, he kept taking and telling stories about his “friends” and life went on. They separated one day… and she had lost 500K by that time.
Here is a fact: If you need “wasta” to get something done, then you have put yourself in a situation . Because, everything normal happens normally if your research and understanding of the systems is genuine and complete. You DO NOT need someone to get something done for you. And, if you ARE in a situation where you need help of someone in authority.. Don’t waste your time with the guy who claims to know him or her. Go to them directly.
Agreed you may have to spend some time and exercise patience . But, eventually you WILL meet the powerful person. And, when you do.. TELL them your issue. They WILL do the needful.
Government employees and even high-ranking officers are there for YOUR service. They WILL meet you if you put in an effort to meet them.
Often, expatriates get caught up with the “wasta” guys because they have not fully understood the system of governance, the rules and the Royal Decrees. All this information is easily available on the net. In most cases, JUST talking to the person of government handling your issue or need, gets you the help you need.
I had a friend with “wasta”. He had told me that if ever I have guests coming from abroad , a single call from him will get me INSIDE the airport facility where the immigration officers sit.
So, once I did have a guest coming.
I waited for them to arrive. Once the airplane had landed and mobile phones were switched on, I called the person and told them I was out, waiting. Then , I remembered my friend and the call he had offered for the security. BUT, I decided to give it a shot myself first. I talked the guards. I told then that I was needed inside by my guest, and that I would be really grateful if they let me in. They did. They let me in upon my request.
Now, why would I need my friend with the “wasta”? Why would I not just talk to the person in charge and at least get some result immediately.
Also, do remember that people with REAL wasta.. will not go around bragging about it. They will not try to make money out of you for getting something done for you. People with real “wasta” may help you in your issue as a matter of courtesy and goodness.
Be careful of the people who claim their ability to “do anything” for you. The more they tell you stories of how they helped someone or how they CAN help someone, the further away you should be from them….