It’s 1988, and Somalis are fleeing the city of Hargeisa. People are trying to get out, trying to save their families. But in the city’s radio station, staff are packing cassettes and reel to reel recordings into a secret underground bunker. On them: A slice of their country’s musical heritage, to remain for years in an underground room—until now.

This episode was produced in collaboration with Far Flung with Saleem Reshamwala, from the TED Audio Collective. I co-reported and produced this episode with Sawsan Abdillahi, Hiwote Getaneh and Saleem Reshamwala. Production support in Hargeisa by Ismaaciil C. Ubax. Fact checking by Nicole Bode and Paul Durban, and sound design by Kristin Mueller. The executive producer was Eric Nuzum.