Treasurer’s Report


By Fred H. Lawson


As of 31 December 2019, the Syrian Studies Association held funds in two separate accounts, a business checking account in Wells Fargo Bank and an online transactions account at The balance of the former stood at $774.56, and the balance of the latter was $5343.07. Those figures reflected outlays that had been taken to cover the meeting-in-conjunction fee charged by MESA for the 2019 annual meeting in New Orleans, as well as for the prize honoraria awarded at that meeting.


During the first six months of 2020, the cost of the 2019 annual meeting reception was paid out of the Wells Fargo checking account, completely emptying the account. Current officers of the Association have no access to the Wells Fargo account, which should now be considered closed. As of 30 June 2020, funds in the transactions account at totaled $5509.24. MESA is presently reorganizing its offices and has no mechanism to accept PayPal or credit card payment for the meeting-in-conjunction fee for the 2020 meeting in Washington. If and when such payment becomes possible, $300 is earmarked for that purpose.


As soon as the Association has its status renewed as a non-profit educational organization that is exempt from Federal and State income taxes in the United States, it would do well to set up both a new checking account and a new transactions account at Given the provisions of the Patriot Act of 2001, these actions most probably cannot be carried out using the Association's Employer Identification (EIN) alone.



Fred H. Lawson is professor emeritus at Mills College, where he taught international relations and Middle East politics from 1985 to 2017.  He is currently editor of the Syracuse University Press series Intellectual and Political History of the Modern Middle East.  He is also the treasurer of the SSA.