The Secret Somali Tapes

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. To listen to other episodes that travel all over the world to explore ideas, follow Far Flung with Saleem Reshamwala wherever you’re listening to this.

This episode was produced by Sawsan Abdillahi, Hiwote Getaneh, Alex Atack 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.

Special thanks to Vik Sahonie at Ostinato Records for letting us use the music from the Sweet As Broken Dates album.

You can hear songs from the buried tapes on this Spotify playlist.

Find a transcript for this episode on our website: 

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