#Dearborn | (TCD) (Detroit FreePress) “I always read his tweets,” @salimmakki said. “Two years ago, I was reading one of his tweets and he said that Muslims, Christians and Catholics are all brothers and sisters. And we should all treat each other like that. When you read stuff like that, it touches you, because of what’s going on right now in the world. Even in the U.S., with what’s going on with the Syrian refugees. … He’s out their washing Syrian’s feet.”
“He defends my religion. My mother was Christian. She used to go church on Sunday and the mosque on Friday. She was both, half-half. She always taught me those morals. Never judge.” Based on his essay, Harbaugh picked Makki to meet with the pope, along with offensive tackle Grant Newsome.
It is not clear how much time Harbaugh or the players will actually spend with the pope.
“I’m extremely excited,” Makki said. “My family, everyone is excited.”
But he has no idea how it will go.
“I think we will be up with Coach,” Makki said. “He might just walk by us. We don’t know what is going to happen.”
Friends and family have been reaching out to Makki, telling him what to say to the pope.
“I went to an all-Muslim high school,” he said. “Each of my coaches is reaching out, saying how proud of me they are. They are really happy that I’m showing that side, that we can co-exist.”
Makki said his mother and father were born in Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa. “My oldest sister was actually born in Sierra Leone,” Makki said. “They traveled here when the war was going on.” On Sunday afternoon, Makki was with refugees at a park in Rome.
“I just played catch with them,” he said. “Shared a meal. It just feels good, to know you are helping.”