Faculty Profile

Magda Siekert

Lecturer in Middle East Studies (2009)

Contact Information


Denny Hall Room 10C


Magda Siekert comes to Dickinson from the Department of State where she spent the past 22 years as a Foreign Service Officer serving in the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. Her specialty is U.S. public diplomacy. She earned a Masters, and completed the coursework and comprehensive exams for a Ph.D. in Arabic Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. She also holds a Masters from the American University in Cairo, Egypt. She taught at Georgetown University, the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies, and at the American University in Cairo. She is fluent in Arabic (native), French, and Spanish


  • B.A., Cairo University, 1977
  • M.A., The American University in Cairo, 1980
  • M.A. in Arabic Studies, Georgetown University, 1983

2014-2015 Academic Year

Fall 2014

ARBI 101 Elementary Arabic
An introduction to Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Introduction to speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in the standard means of communication in the Arab world.

ARBI 211 Intermediate Arabic
Introduction to conversation and composition building on the skills developed in 101 and 102. Prerequisite: 102.

Spring 2015

ARBI 102 Elementary Arabic
Continued introduction to MSA with more advanced development of speaking, listening, reading and writing skills through a greater degree of interaction in the classroom. Prerequisite: 101.

MEST 233 U.S. Pub Diplomacy Arab Wrld
This course introduces the students to the theory and practice of U.S. public diplomacy in the Arab world from a historical and a comparative perspective, looking at past challenges, successes and failures. The course examines the role of public diplomacy in the context of U.S. strategic interests in the region, U.S. efforts to promote democratic governance in the Arab world through the use of public diplomacy tools including traditional and new media, cultural exchanges, and educational programs. Students will debate whether public diplomacy should be integrated into the policy-making process, and how it could complement traditional diplomacy and advance political, military, and economic policies.This course fulfills the DIV II social sciences distribution requirement.

ARBI 360 Topics in Advanced Arabic
This course is for students who have completed Arabic 212 and at least one additional course in Media Arabic. Most students will have completed two courses following Arabic 212 in a study abroad program, and will be at the intermediate high/advanced low level as measured by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). The course seeks to improve the overall Arabic skills of the student to understand authentic texts and broadcasts in Arabic, and to engage in a discussion of the content. More specifically, the course will teach Arabic through content focused on diplomacy and international affairs with a goal to advance the student's understanding of both the content and linguistic skills involved in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Students will be assigned long passages to read, summarize and present the main ideas in class; listening activities with questions to answer and share; group presentations, debates and role-play; and individual projects. Students will develop the ability to narrate in major time frames, compare and contrast, and express an opinion. The class will be conducted primarily in Modern Standard Arabic -- use of English will be discouraged and used minimally.