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Nov 14, 2004



DIB, thanks for the complement.

There are two types of people in Bahrain, those witha wasta and those without. If you dont have a wasta for passport renewals, driving tests, phone numbers, registration plates, getting a job, getting promoted, getting a loan for a house, getting a piece of land in certain areas, getting into a good school, getting government contracts, getting past ministerial bureucracies of any shape or form, getting university scholarships for certain courses, getting sent abroad for medical treatment, being seen by a particular doctor, get priority on free healthcare...(u get the picture) then your life can be hell as u face wall after wall.

I mean alot of my friends used a wasta for a driving test!!!! For me this just shows the extent to which the wasta culture is embedded.

If u have a wasta, you can get ur passport renewed in one-day. If you dont and u go through 'normal' procedures ie waste three weeks of your time back and forth to the Ministry of Immigration, making sure every bit of paper is signed as you ricochet between lazy official who keep losing your papers and telling you to go back to GO like a game of monopoly. Trust me, I tried it. I didnt want to use a wasta but got so fed up that some trainee officer felt sorry for me and pursued the matter. It cost me a box of chocolates- ooops I hope now I dont get charged with bribary, but at least I finally got the damn passport.

At the end of the day, this is a classic third-world country phenomenon. But civil society through different social evolutions should also strive towards organisation and productivity and ending corruption, nepotism and inefficiency.

You have echoed my frustrations and those of our generation as a whole.

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